First time jobless claims decline, but are still higher than forecast.
Initial jobless claims in the week ending Sept. 17 declined to 423,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 432,000, the Commerce Department announced today. This was higher than analysts had forecast, Reuters reported, and did nothing to dispel fears that the economy remains stalled. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, was 421,000, an increase of 500 from the previous week’s revised average of 420,500. First-time jobless claims have remained stubbornly above 400,000 since early April with the exception of one week in August. The benchmark for sustainable job growth is considered to be 375,000. The number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending Sept. 3 was 3,727,000, a decrease of 28,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 3,755,000. The four-week moving average was 3,742,000, a decrease of 6,500 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,748,500. States reported 2,996,662 persons claiming emergency unemployment benefits in the week ended Sept. 3, a decrease of 70,009 from the prior week. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs ending Sept. 3 6,889,058, a decrease of 256,256 from the previous week. The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Sept. 10 were in North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and Virginia. The largest decreases were in California, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.