Text from today’s weekly claims data revealed more initial claims for unemployment than originally anticipated.  Approximately 18,000 more claims than originally anticipated. With the political sentiment finding increased government spending unacceptable, the administration is in quite the pickle to find a solution that will address the faltering data, in the face of high commodity prices.

Text from the report:

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT

          SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending May 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 424,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 414,000. The 4-week moving average was 438,500, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week's revised average of 440,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.9 percent for the week ending May 14, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate of 3.0 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 14 was 3,690,000, a decrease of 46,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,736,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,742,250, an increase of 7,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,734,500.

    UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 371,857 in the week ending May 21, an increase of 10,284 from the previous week. There were 410,778 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.8 percent during the week ending May 14, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,520,413, a decrease of 65,853 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 3.4 percent and the volume was 4,411,435.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending May 7 was 7,739,572, a decrease of 196,976 from the previous week.

Extended benefits were available in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia, during the week ending May 7.

Initial claims for UI benefits by former Federal civilian employees totaled 1,550 in the week ending May 14, an increase of 101 from the prior week. There were 2,482 initial claims by newly discharged veterans, an increase of 12 from the preceding week.

There were 26,002 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending May 7, a decrease of 493 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 36,022, a decrease of 1,164 from the prior week.

States reported 3,411,860 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending May 7, a decrease of 57,119 from the prior week. There were 5,053,266 claimants in the comparable week in 2010. EUC weekly claims include first, second, third, and fourth tier activity.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending May 7 were in Alaska (5.5 percent), Puerto Rico (4.3), Oregon (4.2), Pennsylvania (4.0), California (3.9), Nevada (3.7), New Jersey (3.7), Connecticut (3.6), Illinois (3.6), Idaho (3.4), Rhode Island (3.4), and Wisconsin (3.4).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 14 were in Florida (+1,340), Georgia (+747), New Mexico (+415), Idaho (+282), and Hawaii (+236), while the largest decreases were in California (-6,828), Michigan (-6,740), New York (-2,569), Alabama (-2,093) and Wisconsin (-2,079).