Weekly Jobless Claims Jumped Unexpectedly

workers waiting in unemployment lineWASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but not enough to suggest a shift in the recent pattern of modest job gains. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 354,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 4,000 more applications received than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to hold steady at 340,000 last week. A Labor Department analyst said claims for five states, including Virginia, Minnesota and Oregon, were estimated since state offices had less time to prepare data because of the national holiday on Monday. This could have the distorted the readings, making last week's claims a less useful gauge of labor market trends.

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The four-week moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, edged up 6,750 to 347,250. Despite the rise last week, claims remained in the middle of their range for this year and below levels economists normally associate with modest job gains.

There is still no sign of layoffs related to belt-tightening in Washington, particularly the $85 billion in across-the-board government spending cuts which has slowed factory production. Steady improvement in labor market conditions and rising house prices are helping to sustain consumer spending, limiting the impact of the drag from fiscal policy on the economy.

The economy's unexpected show of resilience has fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve could start scaling back its monetary stimulus by the end of the year, pushing up government bond yields.

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Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week that a decision to start tapering the $85 billion in bonds the U.S. central bank is buying each month could come at one of its "next few meetings" if the economy appeared set to maintain momentum. The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid rose 63,000 to 2.99 million in the week ended May 18. The so-called continuing claims covered the week of the government's household employment survey from which the unemployment rate is calculated.

Continuing claims have dropped 21,000 between the April and May household survey week, which could see the jobless rate holding at an almost 4-1/2 year low of 7.5 percent.

Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise, but Still Within Range

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If there were an election next week they would of figured out a way to have the unemployment numbers go up and have the unemployment rate drop a point or more. They can jumble and re calculate those numbers anyway they please to look anyway they want. All you gotta do is look around your area and see how many people are happily working and employed and making a living, paying bills and being able to go out and play now and then compared to about 6 or 7 years ago. The people who have dropped out of the workforce and given up on finding employment are not included in the number either. Its just based on unemployment claims filed. But isnt our current president cool? I mean isnt he funny and witty and just a super neto dude? Thats why he was elected. Did any of you honestly think a guy who has no real practical experience doing much of anything could just say stuff and it would come true because it sounded cool when he said it?

June 01 2013 at 5:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

guess the obama corruptocrats didnt massage the figures fast enough.

June 01 2013 at 12:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wait until gas hits $5 a gal this summer due to the printing presses at the Fed resrve running 24/7. The Chinese are not buying T bills anymore, they are buying real estate, businesses, and infrastructure with the massive trade imbalance we have had for 20 years.Americans will end up working for Chinese bosses in America in one generation. Our "leaders" are traitors.

May 31 2013 at 10:28 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to trowelup's comment

hear! hear!

June 01 2013 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Um, is that supposed to be a surprise? And what makes you think "in one generation"?

I have worked in the high-tech businesses for years, and have had Japanese and Korean bosses. Oh, and a Phillipino supervisor too.

June 03 2013 at 6:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is only the beginning of the night mare to come...Obamacare will be a major reason for lay offs, and hour cut backs.

May 31 2013 at 9:54 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to harkone75's comment

well said and roteing blacks as obama closes done power plants

June 01 2013 at 12:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dknowles60's comment

"Obamacare" includes a lot of other things than merely health care.

I must assume you meant to say rotating power black-outs, but the EPA and "green groups" have been pushing that agenda for quite a few years. There are three power grids in the USA, west of the Mississippi River, east of the Mississippi River, and Texas. Texas has mostly coal fired power plants, (by gererating capacity), and new EPA rules would close a lot of them, very soon, even with them burning coal from Montana to meet current rules, (Texas has lots of coal, but it is higher in sulfur content, and won't meet current regulations).

Closing a double-digit percentage of Texas power generating capacity won't cause rotating power black-outs exactly, but it could cripple some of the tech and manufacturing operations, and prevent new businesses from opening in Texas because of the uncertainty. I would not be too surprised if the businesses find a way to get power at the expense of schools and homes, and start building their own (miniature) power gererators.

June 03 2013 at 7:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

I don't understand why anyone would be surprised that jobless numbers grow under this administration. If you think it is bad now, wait til obamacare takes full effect. then you will see those numbers grow. You will also see more Americans being penalized for not having any healthcare. Since they won't have jobs, they won't be able to pay for healthcare. Hence the IRS will be after them for not having health care and after the others who have cadillac healthcare plans. a lose lose situation if ever I saw one.

May 31 2013 at 8:47 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gdmn2find's comment

I beg to differ on one point. When Obamacare takes full effect, there will be a massiove INCREASE in available jobs!


Many, if not most companies will reduce employees' hours to less than thirty hours to avoid Obamacare. This means those companies will be forced to hire more part time people to get jobs done!

Where a company had one full-time employee, they will now need two or more part-yime employees!

May 31 2013 at 10:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


May 31 2013 at 7:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chuck Crow

Even with the sequester govenment jobs increase particularly in Washington DC. But never will the media report it. Folks this country is in trouble and this administration is a big part of that problem.

May 31 2013 at 7:09 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply

I find this hard to believe,as Obama has used a 'lazer like focus' to create jobs. Once we get past all the scandals and he exerts Executive privledge,he can refocus on creating more jobs. Eventually getting the 50 million food stamp recipients back to work. Oh happy day.

May 31 2013 at 7:04 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

'Weekly Jobless Claims Jumped Unexpectedly'


May 31 2013 at 6:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I guess less jobs were created at Taco Bell and Walmart.

May 31 2013 at 3:51 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ivyteainn's comment

I am sure you are right. One thing I would like them to do is distinguish between menial jobs created and good paying jobs. One estimate puts the percentage of good paying jobs created under this administration at about 15%, while the rest are lower paying jobs...less than 25K a year.

May 31 2013 at 4:08 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to albert's comment

Jobs would only be "under this administration" if they were federal jobs.
Private companies set the pay rate for their own jobs (other than federal minimum wage).
People take those jobs when they are offered.

May 31 2013 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

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