Weekly Jobless Claims Rise to Near 9-Month High

weekly jobless claims rise to near nine-month high
Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level in nearly nine months, casting a shadow on the labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 379,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was the highest level since March and marked the second straight week that claims have risen.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to fall to 334,000 last week.

The four-week moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, increased 13,250 to 343,500.

"This is not really good. Some of us had thought last week's jump was an aberration. We have to see what's going on here. Obviously the Fed won't be looking at these numbers kindly after what happened yesterday," said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it viewed the risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market as "having become more nearly balanced." The U.S. central bank announced it would reduce its monthly $85 billion bond buying program by $10 billion starting in January.

The claims data is difficult to adjust for seasonal fluctuations around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, lessening its reliability as an indicator of the labor market's health. Other labor market indicators have pointed to a strengthening in job growth.

The dollar fell against the yen on the data. U.S. stock index futures were little changed.

Last week's claims data covered the period for the December nonfarm payrolls survey. Claims increased 53,000 between the November and December survey periods, but seasonal volatility reduces their usefulness in trying to predict payroll growth.

Payrolls increased solidly in October and November. The unemployment rate dropped to a five-year low of 7 percent in November.

A Labor Department analyst said no states had been estimated, but noted that claims were still in a period of volatility related to the holidays.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid rose 94,000 to 2.88 million in the week ended Dec. 7.

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Tony Mendolia

First: Sales and traffic have been down both in stores and online. For stores that hired for the Thanksgiving to Christmas shopping period, they are starting to lay off due to the drop in sales. Why the drop in sales this year? Obama and his so called healthcare law. People that last year had a policy they could afford are now having to spend extra to buy healthcare that Obama is demanding they have. Policies are costing more and when people add the extra's they need they spend their Christmas money on them. Obama does not want to help the economy. He wants our economy to drop to levels of countries around the world. World socialism or the so called One World Order. Obama needs to be impeached along with his entire administration, old democrats, old republicans and anyone thinking that socialism is good for us. We need to get rid of them all. What we need is a congress of young conservatives and a Conservatist President.

December 24 2013 at 8:25 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

After 5 years of obama we have more people unemployed than when he took office. America now has more people on welfare than have full time jobs. Why hasn't obama done anything to create an environment for business growth, investment and hiring? Why hasn't the media focused in on the most important problem facing America today? obama set record highs for deficit spending and added more to our national debt in his first 4 years than Bush did in 8 years. Every year under obama's lack of leadership we have experienced continued increases to the number of Americans living in poverty. We also have a record high number of Americans on food stamps. This is what was sold to the American people. This is what obama meant when he said he wanted to fundamentally change America. America, the greatest, the richest, the strongest and the most benevolent nation in the histroy of the world. Well obama did what he said he wanted to do. You lefties voted for this socialist and now we must all live with the consequences. What a shame,

December 24 2013 at 7:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Wonder why AOL hides this articles under smaller face type?

December 24 2013 at 6:49 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

When is OBAMA going to get it? HIS disasterous policies have destroyed us/.OBAMACARE being the bigest one, the thousands of job killing regualtions the other/. Merry Christmas? Sure while he parties on cracked Lobster flown in from MAine daily. When are the Liberals going to figurwe this out. Their answer? EXTEND unemployment benefits and the guy behind you pays. In all my years I have never seen one President so completely wrong about everything.,

December 24 2013 at 6:44 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Lackluster Christmas 2013 not very good for workers.

New Normal is sinking the USA !

December 24 2013 at 6:06 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Wait for another two weeks when all the seasonal workers are back looking for work.

December 23 2013 at 11:45 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to palbenson's comment


December 24 2013 at 4:39 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Is anyone still reading this article?

December 23 2013 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The 4th weeks of November was a lie - it was adjusted to get the rate down a little bit... When will the country wake up - this is not the Republicans fault - they only have 1/3 of the government... the dems have the rest and I just heard the plan is for the feds to bail out the INSURANCE companies when o-care tanks...

December 23 2013 at 10:54 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to daradams's comment

That's the Obama administration keep throwing someone else's money at his failures. The Middle class is toast

December 24 2013 at 6:46 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

A couple of things going on here. Yes, the numbers are climbing, and not in a good way. With the recent report of the govt cooking the books to help the dear liar in chief remain in office, they are starting to adjust the numbers to what they really are. It is going to take a while before they get to reality, which is somewhere around the 8.8 -9.1% range. Yes, almost 2 full points above what it is now. Here is the other point, this is the Christmas season, the part timers are already hired. When they leave in Jan the numbers are going to take a very large dive right into the toilet. Normally I would be curious as to what the liar will say; however, we all know what he will say
1) It's Bush's fault
2) The Republicans fault. Same old garbage. This clown is a stuck record.
There are a few things about his lies which are quite disturbing. He believes them, which shows how mentally unstable he is. And he says the same things over and over and over again ad nauseam. Then you have the lefty looney media and all of the dear liars brainwashed slaves licking his heals. It's quite deranged actually. Unfortunately, this ilk will remain devoted to him even though he is the worst president in the history of the USA.
Folks, I hate to tell you this, but it's not going to get better any time soon. Next year over 125 million will lose their insurance. More job loss. More debt. And we have a certifiable lying nutjob at the helm. I weep for my country. Things are going to get very ugly. I pray the God will help us.

December 23 2013 at 10:13 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bilyd333's comment

yet they get out there with that moron for a press secretary tell everyone that is all ok and we'll just kjeep blaming someone else. America voted for this and they are too dumb to see it. The fact is the people that did vote for it? They are getting a free ride on the ones that didn't

December 24 2013 at 6:48 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

drill baby drill

December 23 2013 at 8:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Coopbbmfic3's comment

Amen to that BUT that being said OBAMA will find a way to ruin that too

December 24 2013 at 6:49 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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