First-time claims for unemployment higher than forecast
The Labor Department reported Thursday that 382,000 filed first time jobless claims in the week ended Sept. 15, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 385,000, but still near two-month highs. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, was 377,750, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 375,750, and the highest level since June. Economists say that 375,000 is the jobless claims benchmark that indicates hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate. The number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending Sept. 8 was 3,272,000, a decrease of 32,000 from the preceding week. The 4-week moving average was 3,309,750, a decrease of 12,000 from the prior week. States reported 2,162,532 persons claiming emergency unemployment benefits for the week ending Sept. 1, a decrease of 60,539 from the previous week. There were 2,997,259 claimants in the comparable week in 2011. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Sept. 1 was 5,173,597, a decrease of 217,823 from the previous week. The largest increases in initial jobless claims for the week ending Sept. 8 were in Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Washington, and Wisconsin. The largest decreases were in California, Iowa, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania.