The Labor Department said weekly jobless claims fell 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 210,000, the lowest level for initial unemployment benefits in more than 48 years.
That’s the lowest claims have been since December 6, 1969, when they were 202,000. The previous week’s level was revised down by 2,000 from 222,000 to 220,000.
The 4-week moving average declined 5,000 from the previous week’s revised average 220,500. This is the lowest level for this average since December 27, 1969 when it was 219,750. The previous week’s average was revised down by 500 from 226,000 to 225,500.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.4% for the week ending February 17, a slight gain of 0.1% from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment increased 57,000 for the week ending February 17 to 1,931,000. The previous week’s level was revised down by 1,000 from 1,875,000 to 1,874,000.
The 4-week moving average decreased 6,250 from the revised previous week to 1,920,000. The previous week’s average was revised down by 250 from 1,926,500 to 1,926,250.
Claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal from the hurricanes. Extended benefits were available in Alaska and the Virgin Islands during the week ending February 10.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending February 10 were in the Virgin Islands (9.6), Alaska (3.8), Puerto Rico (3.4), New Jersey (3.0), Connecticut (2.9), Montana (2.8), Rhode Island (2.7), Massachusetts (2.6), Illinois (2.5), and Pennsylvania (2.5).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending February 17 were in Puerto Rico (+496), New Jersey (+333), Rhode Island (+95), Arkansas (+87), and Alabama (+59), while the largest decreases were in Michigan (-4,820), Illinois (-2,031), New York (-998), California (-924), and Washington (-913).