The Labor Department said first-time jobless claims fell 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 221,000 for the week ending May 26, beating the 224,000 forecast. The 4-week moving average came in at 222,250, a gain of 2,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 219,750.
That 4-week average is just off a nearly 50-year low, which both have hit in recent weeks.
Claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal. Extended benefits were payable in the Virgin Islands during the week ending May 12.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was unchanged at 1.2% for the week ending May 19. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 19 fell 16,000 to 1,726,000.
The previous week’s level was revised up 1,000 to 1,742,000, while the 4-week moving average fell 8,500 to 1,743,500. This is the lowest level for this average since December 15, 1973 when it was 1,735,750. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 1,751,750 to 1,752,000.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending May 12 were in the Virgin Islands (3.5), Alaska (2.8), California (2.0), New Jersey (2.0), Connecticut (1.9), Puerto Rico (1.9), Pennsylvania (1.7), Illinois (1.6), Rhode Island (1.5), Nevada (1.4), and Washington (1.4).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 19 were in Pennsylvania (+2,219), California (+2,162), Michigan (+1,695), Kentucky (+1,660), and New Jersey (+1,126), while the largest decreases were in Missouri (-2,648), Washington (-305), Minnesota (-269), Wisconsin (-161), and Florida (-137).