During the week of April 4, a total of 618,451 Americans filed new claims for unemployment compensation, an increase of 19,149 from the week before, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Ready for the real eye-opener? During the same week in 2008 -- just a year ago -- only 357,206 claims were filed.
DOL also reports that extended unemployment benefits are now available in the states of Alaska, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Normally, states pay unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks. In periods of very high and rising unemployment nationwide, extended benefits may be paid for as long as 13 to 46 additional weeks, depending on state law. The cost of the extended benefits is paid equally from state and federal funds.
A total of 1,831 newly discharged U.S. Military veterans filed first time claims for unemployment benefits during the week ending April 4, up 167 from the previous week.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending March 21 were in Michigan (7.7 percent), Oregon (7.6), Rhode Island (7.5), Puerto Rico (7.2), Idaho (7.0), Wisconsin (6.9), Pennsylvania (6.5), Montana (6.0), Nevada (6.0), and Vermont (6.0).
The largest increases in first-time claims for unemployment compensation during the week ending March 28 were in Kentucky (+5,029), Michigan (+4,428), Illinois (+3,498), Ohio (+3,000), and Tennessee (+2,718), while the largest decreases were in California (-7,057), Pennsylvania (-3,302), Missouri (-2,193), Kansas (-1,726), and Minnesota (-1,559).Unemployment Compensation: How it Works and Who Pays for It
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