U.S. Jobless Claims Jump, A Worrisome Sign For Economy

Man looks at employment board. Jobless claims were up last weekWASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week at the fastest pace in six months, a worrisome sign for the economy which has been hit by government austerity. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits jumped by 32,000 to a seasonally adjusted 360,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was the biggest jump since November and confounded analysts' expectations for a more modest increase.

Claims for the prior week were revised to show 5,000 more applications received than previously reported. A Labor Department analyst said no states had estimated their data, and that there were no signs furloughs for government employees played a significant role in last week's increase in claims. The U.S. economy has shown signs that growth slowed late in the first quarter and in April as an austerity drive by the federal government weighed on consumers and businesses. Washington hiked taxes in January and initiated sweeping budget cuts in March.

Data on jobless claims has been a relative bright spot in the U.S. labor market, and analysts will be cautious over reading too deeply into one week of dour data, which showed claims at their highest since late March.

More: Another State Proposes To Make It Harder For Unemployed To Keep Benefits

The four-week moving average for new claims, a better gauge of job market trends, remains near its lowest levels since the start of the 2007-09 recession. Last week, the moving average rose 1,250 to 339,250. Many analysts have noted that a reticence by employers to lay off workers has made an outsized contribution to recent improvements in employment levels.

Last month, employers on net added 165,000 new jobs to their payrolls while the unemployment rate dropped to a four-year low at 7.5 percent. The improvement in employment has contrasted sharply with other data, including retail sales and manufacturing, that have suggested a modest cooling in the economy at the end of the first quarter that persisted early in the April-June period. The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid dropped 4,000 to about 3 million in the week ended May 4.

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rmweld

Why is this such a shock????? I know, because Obama and the talking heads on MSNBC and all the other suck up channels said so. What else can you expect when people out of the blue were asked-----What do you think about Obama appointing Judge Judy to the SCOTUS and they all thought it was a wonderful idea. This is why our country is going to the dogs.

May 17 2013 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

I was making $25,000 in the mid 1980\'s when Healthcare was a $10 a week deduction look at the present economy and healthcare costs. Other costs like gas and auto insurance have doubled or trippled even though we are making less or making nothing!

May 17 2013 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

People have more faith in the lottery than they have in Casinos or the job market. Healthcare is over priced in a low wage job market.

May 17 2013 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

U-3 was 9.0% March and U-6 was 15.7 in NJ April the U-3 dropped to 8.7%. The closer you get to the gov election the faster it drops.

May 17 2013 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob

When you get the unemployment report, you are getting the U3 number. There are six of them; U1 to U6. U3 only counts the number of people currently receiving unemployment benefits. The REAL number of people that are unemployed or underemployed is 13.9%. THAT is the REAL unemployment number.

Mr./Ms/ boowah... The last Republican administration and the current Democrat administration both did and are borrowing money that we'll never be able to pay back. Remember Greece and the riots that it had when their country went economically belly-up? Look for that in OUR future. We have almost 90 Trillion (yes trillion) dollars in unfunded mandates coming up in the next few decades. This country is already bankrupt, it just doesn't know it yet.

May 17 2013 at 10:16 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
alasusu

Not surprising...the economy is stuck in neutral...too many job-crushing regulations and costs to small businesses, especially the trojan horse called Obamacare that goes into full effect next January...blame who you will, but this kind of jobless recovery IS the new normal.

May 17 2013 at 10:09 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to alasusu's comment
Iselin007

There isn\'t going to be affordable Healthcare insurance for millions of low wage part timers and full timers or the unemployed especially older people over 50. Without Charity Care millions wil be even worse off than they are now.

College grads will be joining the job hunt an the numbers of employed will be manipulated while the revenues keep dropping so Healthcare isn\'t going to improve or be available to millions of people. The hospitals/clinics will slash 100\'s of thousands of workers because the money won\'t be coming in!

May 17 2013 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Companies often freeze hiring when unemployment reaches 5.5% so what good is it aiming for 6% or 6.5% Retail is paying crap and only giving workers less than 35 hours which can save no one. Our careers were outsourced leaving older workers up the creek. Try unloading trucks or pulling pallets in your 50\'s what a joke.

May 17 2013 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
boowah

Call it what it is.....Republican Austerity! They caused it by refusing to raise the debt ceiling! They'll cause even more damage in October by refusing tom raise it again. More austerity?

May 17 2013 at 9:46 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to boowah's comment
cutsonpaints

Add the almost 4 MILLION unemployed that are no longer included in these numbers and unemployment is OVER 20% in most areas. And in areas like Detroit nearing 50%. I see more small businesses closing ( many like a local hardware store had been in business for over 70 years ) and now Household bank laying off another 14,000. Keep buying the liberal/socialist BS that things are getting better

May 17 2013 at 8:56 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cutsonpaints's comment
Frank

No, it is not over 20%. That number has come down too. Besides, most of the people who have "stopped" looking are baby boomers who are taking social security. It is called retirement. But it is more fun for the republicans to dream up numbers to try to make Obama look worse for the problem they created. Now of course they will not move on sequester and will cause more unemployment and still blame Obama.

May 17 2013 at 9:54 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
jerry4hawaii

Obama, where is all the new jobs you have created?? Oh, I forgot, all the new jobs are with the IRS targeting American workers.

May 17 2013 at 8:52 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Robert

A few weeks ago HEADLINES "unemploymet claims at lowest level..."
I imagine this bitter pill will be buried in the want ads.
Hard to believe these are the same probama types that are now outraged the AP phones were tapped.
Poetic Justice

May 17 2013 at 8:40 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

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