Workers Claiming Unemployment Benefits Hit 28-Year Low

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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The total number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the United States fell to its lowest level since 1988, further evidence of a surging labor market.

During the last week of April, 1,918,000 people received unemployment insurance benefits, the lowest number for insured unemployment since November 5, 1988 when it was 1,898,000, according to the Department of Labor (DOL). The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.4 percent for the last week of April, unchanged from the previous week.

Initial unemployment insurance claims, which counts the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time, fell by 2,000 to 236,000 in the first week of May.

There were 10,216 former federal civilian employees claiming unemployment for the week ending April 22, a decrease of 781 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 10,955, an increase of 13 from the prior week.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending April 22 were in Alaska at 3.4 percent, Puerto Rico at 2.7 percent and New Jersey at 2.5 percent.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 29 were in Illinois with 652 more than than the previous week, Tennessee with 432 and Indiana with an increase of 350 claims. The largest decreases were in New York, with a 13,953 drop in claims, followed by New Jersey with a decrease of 4,069 and Massachusetts, which decreased by 3,882.

Claims have been below 300,000, which is the standard for a healthy labor market, for 114 straight weeks, according to MarketWatch.

The positive news comes almost a week after the unemployment rate hit a 10 year low. The U.S. economy added 211,000 new jobs in April, continuing a steady increase in job creation.

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