There were a seasonally adjusted 445,000 new initial unemployment insurance claims made nationwide in the week ending January 8, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Labor. That was an increase of 35,000 over the previous week. In addition, it bumped the four-week moving average to 416,500 from 411,000.
Despite the increase, the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate decreased to 3.1 percent from 3.3 percent the week before, the report said.
Overall, there were nearly 3.89 million people collecting unemployment insurance benefits nationwide in the week ending January 1. That marked a decrease of about 248,000 from the previous week’s level of just under 4.13 million, the report said. Similarly, the four-week moving average for this figure decreased by 72,000 to 4,056,500.
On an unadjusted basis, the states with the highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending December 25, 2010, were Alaska, Oregon and Idaho, at 7.5, 5.2 and 5.1 percent, respectively. Georgia led the way with the newest initial claims in the week ending January 1 with 11,997. California, meanwhile, saw a decrease of 13,694.
The overall unemployment rate, for both insured and uninsured consumers, has hovered at or near 10 percent for many months. The job market continues to stagnate as a result of companies being unwilling or unable to hire new employees.