In the week ending February 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 496,000, an increase of 22,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 474,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported on February 25. The four-week moving average was 473,750, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised average of 467,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.5 percent for the week ending February 13, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate of 3.5 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending February 13 was 4,617,000, an increase of 6,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,611,000. The four-week moving average was 4,600,750, an increase of 4,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 4,596,500.

The fiscal year-to-date average for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment for all programs is 5.209 million.  

Unadjusted data:The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 452,468 in the week ending February 20, a decrease of 25,767 from the previous week. There were 605,668 initial claims in the comparable week in 2009.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.2 percent during the week ending February 13, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming unemployment insurance benefits in state programs totaled 5,527,142, a decrease of 70,546 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 4.6 percent and the volume was 6,108,398.

Extended benefits were available in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin during the week ending February 6.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits by former federal civilian employees totaled 1,196 in the week ending February 13, a decrease of 240 from the prior week. There were 2,174 initial claims by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 108 from the preceding week.

There were 24,095 former federal civilian employees claiming unemployment insurance benefits for the week ending February 6, a decrease of 2,215 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 36,429 a decrease of 18 from the prior week.

States reported 5,479,942 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending February 6, a decrease of 317,933 from the prior week. There were 1,847,439 claimants in the comparable week in 2009. EUC weekly claims include first, second, third- and fourth-tier activity.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending February 6 were in Alaska (7.5 percent), Oregon (6.5), Idaho (6.4), Montana (6.2), Wisconsin (6.2), Michigan (5.9), Puerto Rico (5.9), Nevada (5.8), Pennsylvania (5.7) and North Carolina (5.5).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending February 13 were in North Carolina (+5,897), Pennsylvania (+2,813), Kentucky (+2,510), Virginia (+559) and Puerto Rico (+468), while the largest decreases were in California (-5,540), Illinois (-3,858), New York (-2,747), Texas (-2,636) and Missouri (-2,534).