Unemployment Numbers Still Rising--How's Your State Doing?

The only good news in the most recent unemployment numbers comes if you believe the saying, "What goes up must come down." Filings for unemployment benefits continue to rise. Last week there were 496,000 seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims -- that's an increase of 22,000 above the previous week's 474,000 new claims. These figures are the latest released by the United States Department of Labor.

At least those who are unemployed and living in 35 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico can now receive extended benefits.

The states paying additional benefits include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

If you live in one of these states and haven't been notified about extended benefits, you might want to check with your local unemployment services rep.

Those states with the highest insured unemployment rates were: Alaska (7.5 percent), Oregon (6.5), Idaho (6.4), Montana (6.2), Wisconsin (6.2), Michigan (5.9), Puerto Rico (5.9), Nevada (5.8), Pennsylvania (5.7), and North Carolina (5.5). Those states with the largest increases in initial claims were North Carolina (+5,897), Pennsylvania (+2,813), Kentucky (+2,510), Virginia (+559), and Puerto Rico (+468).

These numbers, of course, have nothing to do with the millions of jobless or underemployed workers who are not receiving unemployment benefits.

But there is a wee bit of good news. Some states actually had decreases in the number of initial claims filed last week. Those states with the largest decreases were California (-5,540), Illinois (-3,858), New York (-2,747), Texas (-2,636), and Missouri (-2,534)

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