11.19.2009 Policy Points

Unemployment Claims in NC: Week of 10/31

For the benefit week ending on October 31st, 18,795 North Carolinians filed initial claims for unemployment insurance, and 180,051 individuals applied for continuing insurance benefits. Compared to the prior week, there were more initial and continuing claims. These figures come from data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Averaging new and continuing claims over a four-week period — a process that helps adjust for seasonal fluctuations and better illustrates trends — shows that an average of 17,715 initial claims were filed over the last four weeks, along with an average of 179,943 continuing claims. Compared to the previous four-week period, initial claims were slightly higher and continuing claims were slightly lower.

weekly claims

One year ago, the four-week average for initial claims stood at   18,613 and the four-week average of continuing claims equaled 118,839.

The graph shows the changes in unemployment insurance claims (as a share of covered employment) in North Carolina since the recession’s start in December 2007.

Although new and continuing claims appear to have peaked for this cycle, the claims levels remain elevated and point to a labor market that remains extremely weak.

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