12.03.2009 Policy Points

Unemployment in NC: Week of 11/14

For the benefit week ending on November 14th, 22,741 North Carolinians filed initial claims for unemployment insurance, and 187,322 individuals applied for continuing insurance benefits. Compared to the prior week, there were many 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 18,973 initial claims were filed over the last four weeks, along with an average of 181,445 continuing claims. Compared to the previous four-week period, both initial and continuing claims were much higher.

One year ago, the four-week average for initial claims stood at 20,448 and the four-week average of continuing claims equaled 127,062.

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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