Unemployment Benefits Claims Remain Historically Low

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the U.S. continues to trend at a historically low level, according to the latest Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report released by the Department of Labor (DOL) Thursday.

The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 245,000 at the start of June, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week, according to the report.

The number of people who continue to collect unemployment fell by 2,000 to 1.92 million, which marks eight straight weeks that the number has been below 2 million, according to Forbes.

While the week-to-week incremental changes in the numbers aren’t as important as overall trends, the fact that applications for unemployment benefits have come in below 300,000 for 118 straight weeks is a sign that job opportunities in America remain available.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending on May 20 were in Alaska at 2.8 percent, Puerto Rico at 2.6 percent and New Jersey at 2.2 percent. California and Connecticut rounded out the top five with rates of 2.1 percent and 2.0 percent respectively.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 27 were in California with 4,813 more than than the previous week, Tennessee with 3,528 and Kansas with an increase of 2,408 claims. The largest decreases were in Michigan, with a 1,496 drop in claims, followed by Vermont with a decrease of 511 and Massachusetts, which decreased by 250.

The report comes out just days after a separate report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the number of job openings in America was at its highest level since the federal government started tracking the figure in 2001.

Approximately 6.04 million job openings were available in April, according to the job openings and labor turnover survey, released by the BLS Tuesday. That figure represents an increase of 400,000 job openings from the same month last year.

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