newsAs reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, initial unemployment insurance claims under all state programs for the week ending March 17 numbered 348,000, 5,000 claims less than the prior week and 7,000 claims less over the prior four-week period. During the week ending March 10, the insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent while the overall number of people claiming benefits was 3,352,000, down 9,000 claimants from the previous week. The four-week moving average was 3,385,750. The advanced number of individuals claiming benefits from any state unemployment benefit program for the week ending March 10 was 3,804,840, a decrease of 57,489 claims over the week.

Former federal civilian employees initiated 1,216 initial unemployment benefits claims for the week ending March 10, a decrease of 86 claims from a week earlier. Initial claims by newly discharged vets increased to 2,508, down by 205 claims over the previous week. In total, there were 25,114 former federal civilian employees receiving unemployment benefits for the week ending March 3, a 2,343 claims increase over the week. Total claims for newly discharged veterans fell to 39,671 claims, down 2,378 claims from the previous week.

Nationwide, 2,851,483 people claimed Emergency Unemployment Compensation for the week ending March, down 24,312 claims over the week and down almost 800,000 claims over the year. The states with the highest rates of unemployment for the week ending March 3 include: Alaska (6.1 percent), Rhode Island (4.5 percent), Oregon (4.4 percent), Wisconsin (4.4 percent), and Idaho, Montana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania (each at 4.4 percent). The states reporting the greatest increase in initial claims for the week ending March 10 include: Kentucky (+742 claims), Puerto Rico (+643 claims), Alabama (+475 claims), North Carolina (+471 claims), and Tennessee (+457 claims).

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