For the first time since the second quarter of 2005, the number of unemployment benefits has increased again. Adjusted for seasonal effects, the amount of unemployment (WW) benefits paid by the end of the fourth quarter of 2008 stood at 171 thousand, more than 4 thousand up on the end of September. At the end of June 2005, the number of WW benefits was 330 thousand. Since then, the amount of WW benefits has declined continually, as the economy improved. Over the first three quarters of 2008, WW benefits still dropped by 26 thousand. By the end of September last year, 166 thousand benefits were paid. The previous record low was at the end of December 2001, when a total of 165 thousand benefits were registered.
Unemployment benefits, seasonally adjusted