The Labor Department said on Thursday weekly jobless claims fell by 18,000 to 259,000 for the week ending June 18, lower than the estimate for 270,000. The prior week was unchanged at 277,000. While this marks 68 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1973, long-term unemployment has reduced the pool of eligible applicants in the labor force.
A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors impacting this week’s initial claims and “no” state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending June 4. The four-week moving average–widely considered a better gauge, as it irons out volatility–came in at 267,000, a decline of 2,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 269,250.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending June 4 were in Alaska (3.2), Puerto Rico (2.9), West Virginia (2.5), Wyoming (2.5), New Jersey (2.3), Connecticut (2.2), Pennsylvania (2.2), California (2.1), Illinois (1.9), Massachusetts (1.8), New Mexico (1.8), and Nevada (1.8).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending June 11 were in California (+18,762), Pennsylvania (+6,427), Florida (+1,769), Virginia (+1,417), and Georgia (+1,287), while the largest decreases were in Ohio (-1,101), Missouri (-905), Kentucky (-755), Oklahoma (-449), and Puerto Rico (-356)