Unemployment Claims at Record High

April 26, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased by 4.6% from the previous week's total of 390,000 to a new five-year record of 408,000.

The more closely watched four-week moving average increased by 10,750 to 394,000 from the previous week’s average of 383,750, reflecting the ongoing weakening of the US labor market.

States with the most initial claims for the week ending April 7 were in Hawaii, where numbers increased by 2,782, followed by New Jersey, where workers were laid off in the trade, service and transportation industries.

The largest decrease in initial claims came from North Carolina, Texas and Alabama.

Who is Claiming Unemployment?

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, claimants must:

  • meet state requirements for wages earned or time worked during a one year period prior to the claim
  • have become unemployed through no fault of their own
  • be physically and mentally capable of working every day of the week for which benefits are claimed
  • be available for work
  • actively seek employment.