A Positive Sign For Job Hunters? U.S. Jobless Claims Dip

US jobless claims down

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly fell last week, government data showed on Thursday, suggesting a modest improvement in the labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 361,000, the Labor Department said. The prior week's figure was revised up to 367,000 from the previously reported 365,000. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 370,000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, rose 2,250 to 368,250.

A Labor Department official said there was nothing unusual in the state-level data and no state had been estimated.

Problems anticipating the timing of temporary plant shutdowns by automakers for annual retooling caused wide swings in claims in July, making it difficult to get a clean read of the jobs market.

Last week's report was the first in several weeks not affected by auto plant shutdowns, and the drop in new applications offered a hopeful sign for the labor market.

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Nonfarm payrolls increased by 163,000 in July, the most in five months, after three months of gains below 100,000. But the unemployment rate rose by a tenth of a percentage point to 8.3 percent.

Worries of deep government spending cuts and higher taxes scheduled to kick in at the turn of the year and Europe's ongoing debt crisis were making companies cautious about hiring new workers, economists say.

The number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid rose 53,000 to 3.33 million in the week ended July 28, the claims report showed.

A total of 5.75 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits under all programs in the week ended July 21, down 214,367 from the prior week.

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This is all BS. This Government we have today counld not tell the truth if it had too.

August 09 2012 at 7:29 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Lt Dan

The only reson the numbers looked any better was they no longer pay the ones that died in most cases.Although there are dead people still collecting in Chicago.The same ones that vote.

August 09 2012 at 5:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Obama needs to count the millions who have given up looking for work then tells us how the job market is doing.

August 09 2012 at 5:11 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Richard's comment

Obsama must go.

August 09 2012 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why Bush never did.

August 09 2012 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is basic government (election year) rhetoric (Bull$**t). Everyone knows that their facts and figures are skewed and only count the number of people who are actually receiving unemployment benefits. Not the hundreds of thousands who have exhausted their benefits or the folks who have just given up finding work and have moved onto other programs in order to survive. So a dip in the unemployment rates only means that more people have exhausted their benefits and have ceased to be counted any more.

August 09 2012 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Haven't we heard this before?

August 09 2012 at 11:44 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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