The Labor Department said weekly jobless claims rose by 14,000 to 266,000 for the week ending July 26, higher than the forecast for 260,000. The prior week was revised lower by 1,000 to 252,000.
The four-week moving average–which irons-out week-to-week volatility–was 256,500, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous four-week’s average was revised down by 250 from 257,750 to 257,500.
No state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending July 9 and a Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors impacting this week’s report on initial claims, which marks 73 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000. While it’s the longest streak since 1973, due to long-term unemployment and weak labor force participation, the pool of eligible applicants for unemployment insurance is the smallest ever since the same period.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending July 9 were in Puerto Rico (3.3), Alaska (2.8), New Jersey (2.8), Connecticut (2.7), Pennsylvania (2.5), West Virginia (2.5), Rhode Island (2.3), Wyoming (2.3), California (2.2), and Illinois (2.0).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending July 16 were in California (+4,941), Georgia (+4,554), Alabama (+2,851), Oregon (+2,722), and Texas (+1,408), while the largest decreases were in New York (-12,012), Michigan (-9,419), Missouri (-4,432), Pennsylvania (-3,647), and Ohio (-2,550).