In another positive sign for a slowly rebounding job market, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending January 19, 2013 fell 5,000 to seasonable adjusted 330,000 – the lowest level since January 2008 – according to the UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The report found the unadjusted advance number of actual initial claims under state programs totaled 436,766 in the week ending January 19, 2013, a decrease of 119,944 from the previous week. There were 416,880 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.
New unemployment claims have now fallen for two straight weeks. The four-week moving average for new claims in the week ending January 19, 2013 fell 8,250 to 351,750, the lowest since March 2008. The four-week moving average was 377,250 for initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.
Meanwhile, the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending January 12, 2013 were in Texas (+12,786), California (+10,232), Florida (+7,314), Indiana (+4,266), and New Jersey (+3,570), while the largest decreases were in New York (-27,487), Georgia (-7,520), North Carolina (-5,541), Alabama (-4,245), and Wisconsin (-3,183).
For more information, read the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) press release at www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ui/eta20130108.htm.