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Claims For Unemployment Benefits Tick Up But Remain At Historic Low

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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Ted Goodman Reporter
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The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the U.S. ticked up slightly from last week, 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 244,000 for the week ending June 24, a slight increase of 2,000 from the previous week, according to the report.

The four-week moving average was 242,250, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week’s average. 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 121 straight weeks is a sign that job opportunities in America remain available.

A report released by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) in early June revealed that there were over 6 million job openings in America in April. That number is 400,000 more than the number of job opening reported for the month of April in 2016.

The advance (seasonally adjusted) insured unemployment rate was 1.4 percent for the week ending June 17, unchanged from the previous week.

The states with the highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending June 10 were in Puerto Rico, at 3.2 percent, Alaska at 2.7 percent and New Jersey at 2.1 percent. California and Connecticut rounded up the top five, each with a 2 percent insured unemployment rates.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending June 17 were in Maryland with an increase of 2,274 claims, Wisconsin with 1,782 new claims and California with 1,614 new claims. The largest decreases were in Illinois, with a decrease of 1,966 claims, New York which decreased by 1,784 and Georgia, which decreased by 1,650.

President Donald Trump and the DOL are pushing a new apprenticeship program across industries. The administration hopes to implement apprenticeship programs in order to close the skills gap.

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