Unemployment claims rose in North Dakota last week

Adrienne Roberts and Kristi Tanner
Detroit Free Press

New claims for unemployment benefits in North Dakota increased last week compared with the week prior, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.

New jobless claims, considered a proxy for layoffs, rose to 560 in the week ending June 5, up from 501 the week before, the Labor department said.

There were 2,252 new claims in North Dakota at the same time last year.

U.S. unemployment claims continued their downward slide. Claims for regular benefits dropped to 376,000 last week, down 9,000 claims from 385,000 the week prior on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Claims on a seasonally adjusted basis have now declined for six straight weeks and have dropped to their lowest level since March 14, 2020, before the pandemic, when claims were at 256,000.

While new claims are down significantly since peaking in early April of last year with more than 6 million claims, millions of Americans are still receiving jobless benefits.

There were 5.2 million continued claims for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, a temporary federal program that extends traditional unemployment benefits. When added together, 15.3 million workers in the U.S. were receiving some form of unemployment insurance as of May 22, the most recent data available, noted Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics.

Farooqi said filings will likely be impacted as 25 states end enhanced unemployment insurance and other federal benefits programs early.

"It is still unclear that a decline in these levels will lead to a substantial recovery in jobs and send an accurate signal about labor market conditions," she said.

Oklahoma saw the largest percentage increase in weekly claims, with claims jumping by 54.6%.Pennsylvania, meanwhile, saw the largest percentage drop in new claims, with claims dropping by 75.7%.

New weekly unemployment claims, a proxy for layoffs, are an indicator of the health of a state’s economy.