Thursday, July 18, 2013 | 10:24 a.m.
The number of workers filing their first claims for unemployment benefits fell to 14,910 in June, the second lowest monthly total in the past five years.
The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported today that the initial applications were lower than the 16,183 in May and 11.8 percent fewer than in June a year ago.
“However, the overall level of initial claims still remains higher than prior to the recession,” department economist Bill Anderson said, adding that the monthly average of first-time claims from 2003-2007 was 13,000.
The high point was 36,414 claims in December 2008, when the recession hit. Since then, the lowest number of initial claims has been 13,932 in September 2012, he said.
Anderson said this trend is similar to the unemployment rate, which has been falling but still remains higher than the national average.