There were 1,653 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, an increase of 398 from the week before. Altogether 12,253 new and continuing claims were filed, an increase of 303 from a week ago and 1,636 fewer than a year earlier. The Department also processed 2,008 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 4 fewer than a week ago. In addition, there were 861 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program, which is an increase of 5 from the week before. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external) Vermont’s unemployment rate continued to fall. The March 2011 rate was 5.4 percent. See storyHERE.