In the week ending August 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 473,000, a decrease of 31,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 504,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported on August 26. The four-week moving average was 486,750, an increase of 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 483,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.5 percent for the week ending August 14, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's revised rate of 3.6 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending August 14 was 4,456,000, a decrease of 62,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,518,000. The four-week moving average was 4,508,750, a decrease of 28,000 from the preceding week's revised average of 4,536,750.

The fiscal year-to-date average of seasonally adjusted weekly insured unemployment, which corresponds to the appropriated AWIU trigger, was 5.001 million. 

Unadjusted data:The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 380,935 in the week ending August 21, a decrease of 23,613 from the previous week. There were 457,269 initial claims in the comparable week in 2009.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.3 percent during the week ending August 14, 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 4,197,530, a decrease of 94,893 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 4.3 percent and the volume was 5,681,831.

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 Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin during the week ending August 7.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits by former federal civilian employees totaled 3,752 in the week ending August 14, a decrease of 349 from the prior week. There were 2,758 initial claims by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 168 from the preceding week.

There were 24,051 former federal civilian employees claiming unemployment insurance benefits for the week ending August 7, a decrease of 70 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 40,531, a decrease of 2,095 from the prior week.

States reported 4,899,646 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending August 7, an increase of 199,493 from the prior week. There were 2,993,925 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 August 7 were in Puerto Rico (7.0 percent), Pennsylvania (4.7), New Jersey (4.6), Oregon (4.6), California (4.5), Connecticut (4.4), Alaska (4.2), Nevada (4.2), Wisconsin (4.2) and Rhode Island (4.0).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending August 14 were in Puerto Rico (+2,190), Wisconsin (+1,004), New Jersey (+843), Alabama (+827) and Virginia (+456), while the largest decreases were in California (-5,275), Indiana (-2,209), Pennsylvania (-2,074), Ohio (-1,694) and Kentucky (-1,255).