In the week ending December 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 421,000, a decrease of 17,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 438,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported on December 9. The four-week moving average was 427,500, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised average of 431,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.2 percent for the week ending November 27, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate of 3.4 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 27 was 4,086,000, a decrease of 191,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,277,000. The four-week moving average was 4,226,000, a decrease of 64,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 4,290,250.

Unadjusted data: The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 582,007 in the week ending December 4, an increase of 169,085 from the previous week. There were 665,685 initial claims in the comparable week in 2009.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.3 percent during the week ending November 27, an increase of 0.4 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming unemployment insurance benefits in state programs totaled 4,188,560, an increase of 522,787 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 4.1 percent and the volume was 5,400,752.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending November 13 was 8,297,938.

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, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin, during the week ending November 20.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits by former federal civilian employees totaled 2,445 in the week ending November 27, a decrease of 687 from the prior week. There were 1,574 initial claims by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 981 from the preceding week.

There were 43,802 former federal civilian employees claiming unemployment insurance benefits for the week ending November 20, a decrease of 5,097 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 39,843, a decrease of 2,804 from the prior week.

States reported 3,711,136 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending November 20, a decrease of 233,032 from the prior week. There were 4,195,322 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 November 20 were in Alaska (6.1 percent), Puerto Rico (5.5), Oregon (4.4), Nevada (3.9), Pennsylvania (3.9), California (3.7), Idaho (3.7), Montana (3.7), New Jersey (3.7), Arkansas (3.6), Wisconsin (3.6) and Connecticut (3.5).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending November 27 were in Wisconsin (+7,545), Iowa (+2,789), Idaho (+1,810), Indiana (+1,667) and Washington (+1,260), while the largest decreases were in Texas (-8,742), California (-8,320), Florida (-7,027), Georgia (-5,823) and North Carolina (-4,171).