The week ending January 19th proved to have the lowest number of initial unemployment claims since November 1969, according to a Department of Labor weekly news release. The initial claims for this week numbered 199,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week.

Unemployment claims for Federal workers are reported separately and with a one week lag. This explains why the number of initial claims is low despite increasing numbers of Federal workers applying for unemployment due to the government shutdown. For the week ending January 12th, initial claims by Federal workers totaled over 25,000, an increase from just under 15,000 the previous week.

You can view the news release here: