Unemployment Claims Continue Decline in July

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NEVADA - For the eighth straight month, initial unemployment claims in Nevada were lower than in the prior year, according to the Nevada Department of Employment. 17,764 initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed in July, a 4.95 percent decrease when compared to July 2012.

From March through June, the average decline in claims compared to the same months in 2012 has been 5.45 percent so July’s decline is in line with recent trends, and continues to suggest that the number of job losses in the state is slowly declining. At the same time, the share of unemployment benefit recipients who exhaust their regular benefits also continues to improve, falling from 53 percent in July 2012 to 47 percent in July 2013.

While these statistics are positive, the overall level of initial claims still remains higher than prior to the recession. From 2003 through 2007, initial claims averaged less than 13,000 per month while over the last 12 months claims are averaging 17,500 per month. This pattern is very similar to the overall level of unemployment in the state, which sharply increased during the recession and has only slowly been falling over the years since.

Initial claims peaked during the recession at 36,414 in December 2008, and since then, the low point for initial claims was 13,932 in September 2012. Initial claims typically peak each year in December and January, with seasonal low points around June and September of each year.