Initial claims for unemployment insurance down in March
In March, 9,545 initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits were filed in Nevada, a decline of nearly 13 percent from March 2016 when claims were 10,924. Initial claims declined from February by 7 percent, as claims levels continue to fall from seasonal highs. The 12-month average, which best shows the overall trend, is at a post-recession low of 11,224.
“March’s initial claims total is the lowest since 1996 and just the second time following the recession when Nevada has seen fewer than 10,000 claims in a month,” said Alessandro Capello, an economist with the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation in a press release. “Through the first quarter of 2017, initial claims are down nearly 6 percent compared to the same time period last year. The Silver State is also experiencing post-recession lows in activity measures such as the exhaustion rate of 37.2 percent and the average duration at less than 14 weeks. All of these combined indicates a relatively strong labor market. Looking ahead, initial claims are expected to remain steady over the next several months.”
An initial claim represents the first stage of filing for unemployment benefits and is therefore most closely related to the number of people who have recently lost their jobs, not the overall level of unemployment. Initial claims tend to increase on a seasonal basis during the fall and winter months, and then fall during the spring and summer. Initial claims peaked during the recession at 36,414 in December 2008, and the low point for initial claims was 9,358 in September 2016.