Unemployment insurance claims continue to decline, says DOL

Initial unemployment claims dropped yet again, according to the Dept. of Labor Initial unemployment claims continued to decline during the final week of March as the construction industry cut down on layoffs in many states, likely providing continued hope of an economic recovery to many Americans who are jobless and consolidating debt.

According to the U.S. Departmentof Labor’s latest Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report released on Thursday, advance figures for initial unemployment claims for the week ending March 27 stood at 439,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the week prior. The decline was nearly half of the 11,000 decline in initial claims seen one week earlier.

Referencing the latest data available from one week earlier, the report also found that the insured unemployment rate continued to remain stable at 3.6 percent for the week ending March 20, as it has for much of 2010. Accordingly, the number of those using unemployment insurance during the week was found to be at 4.662 million, only 6,000 less than its figure one week earlier.

Additionally, while only two states (Oklahoma and Illinois) saw increases in the number of initial claims they saw during the week, nine states saw declines of more than 1,000 in initial claims. Led primarily by decreasing layoffs in the construction industry, California saw the largest drop in claims of 5,180. It was followed by Pennsylvania (which saw a decline of 3,677), North Carolina (-2,733) and New Jersey (-2,521).