Nationally, 2.1 million unemployment claims filed, down from previous week.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports a decline in the growth of initial unemployment claims. 

In the week ending May 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 2,123,000, a decrease of 323,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 8,000 from 2,438,000 to 2,446,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,608,000, a decrease of 436,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 2,000 from 3,042,000 to 3,044,000.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 14.5 percent for the week ending May 16, a decrease of 2.6 percentage points from the previous week’s revised rate. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.1 from 17.2 to 17.1 percent.

The following graph tracks initial claims filings.


Seattle Times reporter Paul Roberts looks at DoL’s numbers for Washington. (The official Employment Security Department numbers will be filed later today.)

A week after state officials acknowledged potential losses of hundreds of millions of dollars from fraud in Washington’s unemployment insurance system, the state saw a sharp decline in new claims for jobless benefits.

For the week ending May 23, Washington received 53,280 initial claims for unemployment insurance, a decrease of nearly 62% from the prior week, according to figures released Thursday morning by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The decline, the state’s first in three weeks, brings Washington more in line with the rest of the United States, which has seen new claims fall steadily in recent weeks.

We’ll have more on the state’s unemployment statistics later today.