Seven thousand more Americans file for unemployment than was previously projected
Figures causes concern that labor market maybe slackening
A previous median forecast of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected 375,000 Americans filing for unemployment last week. However, it was later learned that 382,000 Americans had filed for jobless benefits, a margin of an additional 7,000 people who suddenly found themselves out of work. This figure has caused concern that the domestic job market may in fact be slackening.
States and territories that reported an increase in claims as a result of Tropical Storm Isaac two weeks ago, including Louisiana and Puerto Rico, didn't indicate the weather had any influence last week. There is also no indication that the teachers strike in Illinois had any influence.
The Federal Reserve began a third round of asset purchases last week in a bid to reduce joblessness that has held above eight percent for more than three years.
"The problems are more on the hiring side than the layoffs side," Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics Inc. says. Sweet has projected a rise to 385,000 claims. "If they panic and start cutting workers, which would raise an immediate red flag because layoffs would be a recipe for another recession."
Stock-index futures held earlier losses after the report. The contract on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index maturing in December fell 0.4 percent to 1,446.8 in New York. Economic data from China to Japan and Europe increased concern a global slowdown is growing even direr.
Bloomberg estimates range from 360,000 to 390,000. The Labor Department revised the previous week's figure to 385,000 from an initially reported 382,000.
However, a Labor Department spokesman said there was nothing unusual in the state data last week, noting that states and territories that reported an increase in claims as a result of Tropical Storm Isaac two weeks ago, including Louisiana and Puerto Rico, didn't indicate the weather had any influence last week.
There is also no indication that the teachers strike in Illinois had any influence.
The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, climbed to 377,750 last week from 375,750.
Today's report showed the number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 332,000 in the week ended Sept. 8 to 3.27 million.
It must be noted that the continuing claims figure does not include the number of Americans receiving extended benefits under federal programs.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Jobless, unemployment insurance, Hurricane Isaac, Chicago teacher's strike
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