2014 has come and gone, but labor marketing data is still trickling in. While the year was positive overall, the past few weeks have experienced small increases in the number of jobless claims, even as unemployment rates continue to decline.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 298,000 seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims for the week ending Dec. 27. Compared to the previous seven-day period, that represents an increase of 17,000 claims. On a similar note, the four-week moving average reached 290,750, up slightly from the prior average.

Overall, there were roughly 2.5 million people claiming benefits in the middle of December. That is also up compared to the previous week. However, there was nearly double the number of claimants at the same time in 2013, and the yearly trends have been overwhelmingly positive. On a state-by-state basis, the highest insured unemployment rate belonged to Alaska, at 4.9 percent. The largest increase in claims for the week ending Dec. 20 was found in Kentucky, followed by Ohio and Michigan.

Jobless rates maintain downward trajectory
With the steady increase in unemployment claims, one would think that there would be an equal surge in metropolitan jobless rates. However, this isn’t exactly the case.

“North Dakota and Nebraska are home to the cities with the lowest jobless rates in the country.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, metro unemployment rates dropped on a yearly basis in 341 of the 372 metros analyzed. Only 27 cities had higher rates between 2013 and 2014, while four stayed the same. Another positive was the finding that only 12 areas had rates higher than 10 percent, while 147 had rates below 5 percent.

The two metros with the highest jobless rates were both out west – Yuma, Arizona and El Centro, California, at 23.1 percent and 22.6 percent, respectively. On the other end of the spectrum were Lincoln, Nebraska and Fargo, North Dakota-Minnesota, at 2.1 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

Overall, the trends related to unemployment insurance and jobless rates have been positive. For employers, this is a good sign that the momentum will continue into 2015, ideally resulting in fewer claims and an increase in cost savings.

Juggling tax rates and difficult employees can become challenging at your company. Here at Corporate Cost Control, we understand these problems and are well-positioned to help. Our extensive background in cost control and human resources will allow you to better manage your unemployment insurance expenses.


Contact CCC to see how we can save your organization time and money.
Contact our Sales Team
(800) 207-6926

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