Weekly Jobless Claims Rise More Than Expected, Blizzard Cited

weekly jobless claims unemployment roseWASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but still remained at levels consistent with a steady improvement in labor market conditions.

Initial jobless claims increased 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week's claims figure was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to rise to 355,000. The increase in claims last week pushed them toward the upper end of their range for this year. A blizzard that hit the East Coast late in the first week of February could have exaggerated the drop in claims for the week ended Feb. 9. A Labor Department analyst said claims for California and Virginia had been estimated, as well as figures for Hawaii and the District of Columbia.

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Last week's data covered the survey period for the February nonfarm payrolls report. Claims were up 27,000 between the January and February survey periods. But this probably does not suggest any material change in the pace of job growth, given that claims have been very volatile since January because of difficulties smoothing the data for seasonal fluctuations.

Employers added 157,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, a pace that is expected to have held in February. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, increased 8,000 to 360,750.

Job gains remain far less than the at least 250,000 per month over a sustained period that economists say is needed to significantly reduce the ranks of unemployed. The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 7.9 percent in January.

More: Unemployed Would Lose Benefits If Federal Budget Cuts Go Through

High unemployment prompted the Federal Reserve last year to launch an open-ended bond buying program that it said it would keep up until it saw a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market.

But minutes of the U.S. central bank's Jan. 29-30 meeting released on Wednesday suggested it might have to slow or stop asset purchases because of the concerns over the costs of the program.

The number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid rose 11,000 to 3.15 million in the week ended Feb. 9.

So-called continuing claims have not changed much since late December.

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I'm shocked they would be surprised! We have the worst President in history and takes no responsibility for his actions. He is no leader....just a street organizer.

February 21 2013 at 8:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I think it is all President Obama's fault, darlings.

February 21 2013 at 6:36 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

If the Executive Branch of our government would stop spending as if they had an unlimited amount of money and without consequences, perhaps we would not be in as bad of shape as we are as a nation. I blame all who voted for Obama, Pelosi, and Reed and their insane agenda.

In a desperate need to be "cool" and have a "celebrity" president, America has reaped what they have blindly sown. For all zombies, please stop being driven by the feel-good speeches of the president. They are merely a tickle of the ear, without positive tangible results. This is a disaster!

Let's hold our government accountable, both D's and R's. They are both guilty of reckless spending.

February 21 2013 at 3:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Let's see why the businesses are not hiring? Hmm"" Could it be Obama raised taxes on Business Investments, Higher Income Taxes and Higher Priced health Care, Obamacare. businesses already are paying the highest corporate Taxes in the world. why would you want to own a business in America?

February 21 2013 at 3:39 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Of course it was the blizzard as it surely couldn't have anything to do with Obama's struggling, FOR FOUR YEARS, economy!
Was the reason the economy SHRANK in the 4th qtr of 2012, THREE YEARS AFTER THE RECESSION ENDED, also because of a three month blizzard!

How about the fact that Cuba's economy grew more than ours, HAVANA, Cuba (AP) — Cuba says it will finish the year with 3.1 percent economic growth, lower than expected but higher than in 2011, when growth was 2.7%. Our growth rate in 2011 was 1.8%

It appears that Cuba's Socialists/Communists are more competent than our Socialists/Communists! And it gets worse. We're below 75 percent of the world in GDP growth. We’re below Egypt, Mexico and Albania. In fact we're number 166 in the world. Was that also because of a blizzard!

The media continues with their gross media malpractice. THey refuse to hold him accountable for ANYTHING.
I guess it's because he is our first Affirmative Action president and is therefore held ro a much lower standard than all previous presidents!

February 21 2013 at 2:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Figures don't lie...Figurer's often do...estimates for California, Virginia, D C and Hawaii...
sooooooo...next week there will be an upward adjustment...

oh, yeah...let's blame a snowstorm in the east...never Hussein ...or the cost of gasoline
oh, yeah...1% inflation...been to the Grocery Store lately ?

February 21 2013 at 2:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Well, finally it's not Bush's fault.

February 21 2013 at 1:34 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Good jobs and jobs that pay a decent wage are hard to come by not to mention job security , you can have it today (job) and lose it tommorrow.

February 21 2013 at 1:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Be glad that elephants do not fly, If they did ti would really be a blizzard!

February 21 2013 at 12:41 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

its a blizzard all right it called obamanomicsType your comment here

February 21 2013 at 11:45 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply

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