In the week ending May 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 460,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 474,000, the U.S. Department of Labor announced on May 27. The four-week moving average was 456,500, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week's revised average of 454,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.6 percent for the week ending May 15, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate of 3.6 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 15 was 4,607,000, a decrease of 49,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,656,000. The four-week moving average was 4,637,250, a decrease of 11,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 4,648,750.

The fiscal year-to-date average of seasonally adjusted weekly insured unemployment, which corresponds to the appropriated AWIU trigger, was 5.134 million. 

Unadjusted data: The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 404,325 in the week ending May 22, a decrease of 5,765 from the previous week. There were 538,311 initial claims in the comparable week in 2009.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.4 percent during the week ending May 15, 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 4,381,421, a decrease of 88,300 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 4.6 percent and the volume was 6,153,284.

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, Montana, 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 May 8.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits by former federal civilian employees totaled 1,481 in the week ending May 15, an increase of 163 from the prior week. There were 2,369 initial claims by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 120 from the preceding week.

There were 17,937 former federal civilian employees claiming unemployment insurance benefits for the week ending May 8, an increase of 577 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 36,370, an increase of 1,365 from the prior week.

States reported 5,059,843 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending May 8, a decrease of 41,403 from the prior week. There were 2,185,863 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 May 8 were in Puerto Rico (6.2 percent), Alaska (5.9), Oregon (5.4), Nevada (4.9), California (4.8), Pennsylvania (4.7), Wisconsin (4.5), North Carolina (4.4), Montana (4.3) and Connecticut (4.2).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 15 were in Tennessee (+3,041), Missouri (+2,369), Mississippi (+1,697), Illinois (+1,154) and Arkansas (+851), while the largest decreases were in California (-2,161), Michigan (-2,133), Washington (-1,968), Florida (-1,480) and Oregon (-1,200).