ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Jobless claims in U.S. unexpectedly increased last week

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/JEFF KOWALSKY
UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS IN THE U.S. unexpectedly rose by 4,000 last week, a sign improvement in the labor market remains uneven.
Posted 1/10/13

WASHINGTON - More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign improvement in the labor market remains uneven.

Jobless claims increased by 4,000 to 371,000 in the week ended Jan. 5, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 365,000. The prior week’s figures were revised to 367,000 from an initially reported 372,000.

A consistent decline in firings, along with a rise in payrolls, is needed to spur consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy. While an agreement reached by Congress this month averted sweeping tax increases and delayed budget cuts that threatened the expansion, the impending battle over the debt limit may weigh on the outlook for jobs.

“Claims are in a pretty steady range, but the story isn’t in firings so much as it is in hiring,” said Michael Hanson, a senior U.S. economist at Bank of America Corp. in New York, who projected 375,000 claims for the week. “Hiring has been okay. The process is sluggishly moving forward. We need to see better payrolls data to get faster economic growth.”

Estimates in the Bloomberg survey of economists ranged from 340,000 to 380,000. No state data were estimated, according to a Labor Department official, who said there was “nothing unusual” in the figures.

Stock-index futures maintained gains after the figures, with the contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in March rising 0.4 percent to 1,461.9 at 8:43 a.m. in New York.

The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, climbed to 365,750 last week from 359,000.

December employment

Initial jobless claims reflect weekly firings and tend to fall as job growth -- measured by the monthly non-farm payrolls report -- accelerates.

Payrolls rose by 155,000 last month following a revised 161,000 advance in November that was more than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed on Jan. 4. The unemployment rate held at 7.8 percent after the November figure was revised up from a previously reported 7.7 percent.

Today’s report showed the number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped 127,000, the most since January 2011, in the week ended Dec. 29 to 3.11 million. The figure does not include the number of Americans receiving extended benefits under federal programs.

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Join PBN for the best networking event and party of the winter - January 15, 2015 - the Book of Lists Party at the Providence Public Library. Reserve your spot by December 31st and get a holiday gift from PBN!
  • Best Places to Work
    Enrollment is now open for the 7th annual Best Places to Work program. Winners w ...
  • Manufacturing Awards
    Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd Annual Manufacturing Awards. Dea ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement