jobsInitial unemployment insurance claims during the week ending December 24 rose to 381,000; rising by about 15,000 claims over the previous week’s 366,000 claims. The four week average was 375,000 which is a slight decrease over the revises average from the prior week (380, 750 claims). The insured unemployment rate for the week ending December 17 was 2.9 percent, up 0.1 percent over the previous week.

Those receiving insured unemployment during the week ending December 17 sat at 3,601,000; increasing by 34,000 from the prior week’s 3,567,000.  The four week average was at 3,598,750; decreasing by 39,000 from the previous week’s revised average.

Initial claims under state programs numbered 490,364 for the week ending December 24, up 69,261 over the preceding week. Initial claims for the week were down from the comparable week in December 2010 (525,710).  Claimed benefits in all programs for the week ending December 10 was 7,231,514; a nearly 80,000 claim increase over the prior week.

Extended unemployment benefits were available in all states and DC except, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming during the week ending December 10.

Federal civilian employees numbering 30,504 claimed unemployment insurance during the week ending December 10, down 9 from the prior week. Newly discharged veterans claims were up 1,218 over the same period, reaching a total of 43,235 initial claims. The week ending December 10 saw Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims drop by over 15,000 over the prior week, with states reporting 2,926,135 claims.

For the week ending December 10, states with the highest insured unemployment rates were Alaska (7.2 percent), Oregon (4.1 percent), Pennsylvania (4.1 percent), Montana (3.9 percent), Wisconsin (3.9 percent), California (3.8 percent), Idaho (3.7 percent), New Jersey (3.7 percent), and Michigan (3.6 percent).

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