Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported unemployment insurance benefit claims were down from the previous year for the week ending July 13 - down some 48,000 claims. The numbers began to spark hope that the U.S. economy, or at least hiring numbers, were on the rise once again.
This week, the Department of Labor is reporting that jobless claims are down once again - to levels not seen in years. 326,000 unemployment insurance claims were filed during the week ending July 20, the lowest number seen since January 2008. That number is also down significantly from the previous week, when 336,000 Americans filed claims.
The total number of Americans claiming unemployment insurance benefits is also down. Including state employees, federal employees, and veterans, just under 4.7 million Americans are now claiming unemployment benefits, as of the week ending July 13. That number is down over 154,000 claims from the same week in 2012.
New York saw the largest drop in unemployment claims for the previous week, with claims dropping nearly 15,000. The labor department cited fewer layoff in the transportation, construction, and educational service industries. Including New York, 22 states saw drops of more than 1,000 benefit claims over the previous week. Only California saw a massive benefit claim increase, up 7,723 from the previous week due to, the labor department states, large numbers of service industry layoffs.