U.S. Unemployment Claims Down Last Week, Job Market Still Weak

unemployment numbers jobless claims

WASHINGTON, Sept 20 (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, unwinding some of the weather-related spike during the previous week, but the underlying tone of the report pointed to some weakening in the labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 382,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week's figure was revised up to show 3,000 more applications than previously reported. Claims the prior week had been pushed up by Tropical Storm Isaac.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 375,000 last week. A Labor Department official said there were no special factors influencing the report, adding that only claims data for New Mexico had been estimated. There was also no sign the strike by about 29,000 teachers in Chicago had any impact, the official said.

The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, rose 2,000 to 377,750 - the highest level since June. It was the fifth consecutive weekly increase in the measure.

Last week's report covered the period for September nonfarm payrolls survey. Claims have risen 8,000 between the August and September survey periods.

Employers added 96,000 jobs last month, a step down from July's 141,000 count. While the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 percent, it was because many Americans gave up the search for work.

Lackluster labor market conditions prompted the Federal Reserve last week to launch an aggressive stimulus program, with the U.S. central bank buying an additional $40 billion worth of mortgage backed securities each month until it sees a sustained upturn on the jobs front.

The unemployment rate has been stuck above 8 percent for more than three years, the first time this has happened since the Great Depression. The sluggish jobs market poses a hurdle to President Barack Obama's re-election.

The number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid fell 32,000 to 3.27 million in the week ended Sept. 8, the claims report showed.

That was the lowest level since mid-May and most likely reflected people exhausting their benefits.


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merle the pearle

So many people got caught off guard when their jobs folded to bad they did not other
skills they can use, these days you have to have about 3 different skills to make in this
world or you'll wind up homeless, so folk go back to trade school college or whatever,
the days of packing boxes in factories is over!

September 21 2012 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
merle the pearle

So many people got caught off guard when their jobs folded to bad they did not other
skills they can use, these days you have to have about 3 different skills to make in this
world or you'll wind up homeless, so folk go back to trade school college or whatever,
the days of packing boxes in factories is over!

September 21 2012 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Teresa

people without work is much greater that is admitted....as the only ones counted aer the ones that go through the goverment offices looking for work...... .and the elderly are being told by the local health departments......as i was...instead of being given health care due to """budget cuts"""..that people your your age and health conditions....often opt for suicide,,,and it is nothing to be ashamed of anymore.....that god will still let you into heaven if you chose that option......

September 21 2012 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mitchell

They really should NOT of shipped our manufacturing and production jobs out... Because now everyone who buys this junk, is getting exactly what it is... NOT made in the USA." Our landfills are filling up with this junk that works fine till about the time your warranty runs out." BTW... Don't get too upset when you must replace your major appliances including your TVs, hot water heaters and furnaces every few years because it was all poorly made somewhere else." These large companies sold-out their American workers for cheaper labor and i hope they're having the same mechanical issues in their homes as everyone else."

September 20 2012 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vtmilitia

Dind't Biden say that 8% was the new normal?

September 20 2012 at 6:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to vtmilitia's comment
vtmilitia

Didn't

September 20 2012 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cpenrod

It's really very simple. Obama and continued communism, OR RETURN AMERICA TO A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC.

September 20 2012 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mdennish

The real unemployment rate is 15%

September 20 2012 at 4:40 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mdennish's comment
Teresa

people without work is much greater that is admitted....as the only ones counted aer the ones that go through the goverment offices looking for work...... .and the elderly are being told by the local health departments......as i was...instead of being given health care due to """budget cuts"""..that people your your age and health conditions....often opt for suicide,,,and it is nothing to be ashamed of anymore.....that god will still let you into heaven if you chose that option......

September 21 2012 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard

Another first for Obama. 43 months of unemployment above 7%. How many more firsts can this country handle?

September 20 2012 at 2:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Richard's comment
George

Above 8% for more than 3 yrs is the new record. Hasn't happened since the Great Depression. All from the above article.

September 20 2012 at 5:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sstuczynsk

My question is why are people who have quit looking for work not counted in the unemploynent figures? Just like in the inflation numbers, why are food products not counted in inflation numbers? How many other products that we use are not counted when measuring the inflation rate? Quit playing with the nmbers and show the real numbers.

September 20 2012 at 2:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to sstuczynsk's comment
Richard

I agree. The reason the Adminstration does not want to show the real numbers is the number is staggering. It would more than like show more than double the unemplyment %. Ther real rate if the onion was peeled back is more than 15%. I do not think Obama would have a snowballs cahnce in He__ if the real numbers were reveled.

September 20 2012 at 2:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Richard's comment
Teresa

people without work is much greater that is admitted....as the only ones counted aer the ones that go through the goverment offices looking for work...... .and the elderly are being told by the local health departments......as i was...instead of being given health care due to """budget cuts"""..that people your your age and health conditions....often opt for suicide,,,and it is nothing to be ashamed of anymore.....that god will still let you into heaven if you chose that option......

September 21 2012 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
George

These were stopped from being counted since our non-working king of campaigners took office and he saw a total disaster facing him. Why would you want to use all figures to report the truth when he appears to be a professional LIAR amongst other things.

September 20 2012 at 6:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
SHARON

Steven, I feel sorry for your ignorant racist ass. It's people like you that continue to divide this country.

September 20 2012 at 12:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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