The Labor Department said weekly jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 253,000 the week ending July 16, missing the estimate for 265,000. The prior week was unchanged at 254,000. The four-week moving average was 257,750, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 259,000.
A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors impacting this week’s initial claims and state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending July 2.
While the report marks 72 consecutive weeks of initial claims coming in below 300,000, the longest streak since 1973, the long-term unemployment and labor force participation levels are abysmal. In other words, the pool of eligible applicants has shrunk.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending July 2 were in Puerto Rico (3.1), Alaska (2.6), Connecticut (2.6), New Jersey (2.6), Pennsylvania (2.5), West Virginia (2.3), Wyoming (2.3), Rhode Island (2.1), California (2.0), and Massachusetts (2.0).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending July 9 were in New York (+13,098), Michigan (+9,197), Missouri (+6,057), Kansas (+2,448), and Ohio (+2,261), while the largest decreases were in California (-6,778), New Jersey (-5,465), Massachusetts (-2,370), Kentucky (-1,368), and Connecticut (-1,257).