U.S. Jobless Claims Rise, Labor Market Still Healing

jobless claims job fairWASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but probably not enough to suggest the labor market recovery was taking a step back.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 357,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Still, they remained in the middle of their range for this year.

The prior week's claims figure was revised to show 5,000 more applications than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications last week to rise to 340,000. Last week's report contained annual benchmark revisions to the series and the model used by the government to iron out seasonal fluctuations.

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Last week's increase pushed claims above the 350,000 level for the first time since mid-February. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, rose 2,250 to 343,000, but remained below the 350,000 level.

That could offer hope job growth this month retained some of the momentum from February. Nonfarm payrolls increased 236,000 last month, with the unemployment rate falling to a four-year low of 7.7 percent. Claims over the next several weeks will be watched closely for signs of layoffs related to $85 billion in government budget cuts known as the "sequester." So far, there is little sign the across-the-board spending cuts are affecting the job market.

A Labor Department analyst said no states had been estimated and there were no special factors influencing the report. Claims, however, could become volatile in the coming weeks because of the early timing of Easter and spring breaks, which could throw off the so-called seasonal factor. The labor market is being closely watched by the Federal Reserve, which last week said it would maintain its monthly $85 billion purchases of mortgage and Treasury bonds to foster faster job growth.

The number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid dropped 27,000 to 3.05 million in the week ended March 16. That was the lowest since June 2008.The so-called continuing claims covered the period for the household survey from which the unemployment rate is derived.
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George

Keep sending money that can heal our way of life overseas to countries that use it for murder and mayhem, keep bringing in illegal aliens, keep letting illegals screw us through the loop holes that give them all the goodies, cell phones, welfare checks, medical they don't, won't or ever care to pay back, keep using those same people to vote illegally for those in office now, that don't hold up to the promises they made to get into office, keep giving Congress automatic raises, and this latest that Obama gave part of his money to show his support...please! chump change that is made up on alllllllllllllllllllllllll kinds of ways!

April 04 2013 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim

Thanks Obama. Be a leader!!!!!!

March 30 2013 at 8:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jeff

IT must be all these visa worker that can't find a jobs from the other country. Because the American People been unemployee for so long they can't be counted again. Fed Government don't know what going on they set in office and have other people telling them ever thing ok so they can keep their job. Congress don't care how the American People live in poverty and on the street as long as they can bring people over here on visa to vote for them And Congress don't have to live in Poverty. What hurt is all the jobs that not here thank to our Congress that like to give tax cut for jobs over sea.

March 29 2013 at 2:21 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
sstuczynsk

How about the millions no longer looking for jobs or the 14 million collecting SS disability. Where are they counted? Such phony figures.

March 29 2013 at 2:19 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
doowat

Food stamp usage is higher than ever. Incomes are lower than ever. The number of Americans living in or near poverty is higher than ever. Jobless rates climbed. Gas is higher than ever. Groceries are higher than ever. Our healthcare premiums, according to recent reports, will see double digit increases in some states once Obamacare is implemented.
So please excuse me when I say to all these so-called "experts" who say we are healing...shut up. There are only 2 possibilities at this point. Either the record number of Americans hurting financially is a lie OR the "experts" are lying. I don't know where they are finding all these jobs they claim are out there, but they aren't here in my area.

March 29 2013 at 1:31 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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