U.S. Jobless Claims At Four-Month High, Cast Shadow Over Labor Market

jobless claimsWASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose to its highest level in four months last week, suggesting the labor market recovery lost some steam in March.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 385,000, the highest level since November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

It was the third straight week of gains in claims. Coming on the heels of data on Wednesday showing private employers added the fewest jobs in five months in March, the report implied some weakening in job growth after hiring accelerated in February.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications last week to fall to 350,000.

The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, rose 11,250 to 354,250.

More: ADP: U.S. Private Sector Hiring Slowed In March

A Labor Department analyst said claims for California and the Virgin Islands had been estimated and there were no special factors in the underlying state-level data.

While the claims report has no bearing on Friday's nonfarm payrolls data for March as it falls outside the survey period, it hinted at some weakness in hiring.

Employers are expected to have added 200,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, according to a Reuters survey, slowing from February's brisk 236,000. The jobless rate is seen unchanged at 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."

The labor market is key to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy. This month the central bank said it would maintain its monthly $85 billion purchases of mortgage and Treasury bonds to keep rates low and foster faster job growth.The number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid dropped 8,000 to 3.06 million in the week ended March 23.

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Obama reminds me of the Kevin Bacon character in 'Animal House', when the town is rioting and he smiles and says "All is well".. Stocks are doing well because the Fed is flooding Banks with devalued dollars, but that will crash soon enough too. Meanwhile, MORE AND MORE Americans are finding themselves out of work.


April 04 2013 at 2:43 PM Report abuse +20 rate up rate down Reply
Ol Bob

Gonna' have to get new book cooks.

April 04 2013 at 2:26 PM Report abuse +14 rate up rate down Reply

the only thing shocking is that the liberal biased media would print a story like this, for the last five years we have been fed a bag of lies about how the liberal majority washington is telling us how we're on the road to recovery, this will go on until election time when all negative stories about liberals comes to a halt, and you thought the communist countries withheld news from their people, what a laugh

April 04 2013 at 2:17 PM Report abuse +28 rate up rate down Reply

nobody can help this economy at this time. George Bush created this mess with wars that did not help. Those wars eliminated our tax dollars creating such deficit. There are other factors that are to blame. The Real Estate mess and all those bad loans and white collar crimes on wall street were all done under the Bush's administration and nobody said anything or did anything. This Government / politicians think that they know it all but around the world people are laughing at the joke. If you want to live free and scam people or commit a crime or sell drugs come to the USA. Here if caught nothing will happen as long as you have a jewish lawyer.

April 04 2013 at 2:11 PM Report abuse -37 rate up rate down Reply


April 04 2013 at 1:45 PM Report abuse +35 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ken's comment

The "clown" lives in Texas. You know the one.......clowns like you voted for him twice and he wrecked the place.

April 04 2013 at 2:11 PM Report abuse -39 rate up rate down Reply

New jobless claims 11 million Immigration looking for work. Congress o.k. for work They let you hear what they want you to hear. That everthing is getting better right for them not you but they willn't tell you that.

April 04 2013 at 1:08 PM Report abuse +25 rate up rate down Reply

You coud see the decline in hiring in the want ads (career builder, Monster, et al) The numbers of postings visibly declined - a whole lot. I think the job boards purposely continue to retain expired ads in order to keep up appearances when this happens.

April 04 2013 at 12:57 PM Report abuse +14 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Alan's comment

You just contradicted yourself

April 04 2013 at 1:33 PM Report abuse -10 rate up rate down Reply

Wonder how O and crew are gonna spin this into something "good" for the citizenry?

April 04 2013 at 12:55 PM Report abuse +32 rate up rate down Reply
Marshall Knight

obama and his merry band of incompetents. What a useless, narcissistic, clueless group they are.

April 04 2013 at 12:47 PM Report abuse +35 rate up rate down Reply

Obama continues to fail. The stooge media covers for him. Obama is a failure!

April 04 2013 at 12:42 PM Report abuse +31 rate up rate down Reply

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