Unemployment insurance claims fall to lowest level in 40 years

Initial unemployment insurance claims fell to 255,000 nationally last week, on a seasonally adjusted basis. That’s 26,000 lower than the previous week, and the lowest number of claims since November 1973, a U.S. Labor Department report stated today.

The improvement is probably influenced a bit by seasonal adjustment, but still signals job growth in July of about 225,000, according to PNC Financial Services Group economic Kurt Rankin.

“Although the big drop in claims is certainly good news, it would be wise not to read too much into it,” Rankin said. “Claims at this time of year are very volatile, due to inadequate seasonal adjustment around the July 4 holiday and seasonal shutdowns for auto plants, and are likely to move higher next week. However, the long-term trend remains very positive.”

In Wisconsin, initial unadjusted claims totaled 6,181 last week, down from 8,121 in the prior week. The state’s unemployment rate held firm at 4.6 percent last month.

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