Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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Initial Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time unexpectedly rose last week, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday.

For the week ending February 13, 473,000 initial claims were filed, up by 31,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 442,000. The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility, was 467,500, down by 1,500 from the previous week's revised average of 469,000.

The insured unemployment rate for the week ending February 6 was unchanged from the previous week at 3.5%.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending February 6 was 4,563,000, unchanged from the preceding week revised level. The four-week moving average was 4,585,750, a drop of 24,000 from the from the preceding week's revised average of 4,609,750.

States reported that 5,797,875 people claimed Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits for the week ending January 30 - 304,748 more than in the previous week. There were 1,903,779 claimants in the same week for 2009. EUC benefits become available for the long-term unemployed when state benefits are exhausted.

Alaska had the highest insured unemployment rate at 7.2%, followed by Puerto Rico at 6.9%, Idaho at 6.5%, Pennsylvania at 6.4%, Wisconsin at 6.4%, and Montana at 6.3%. Nevada, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Washington also had high insured unemployment rates at or above 5.5%.

Iowa had the largest increase in initial claims for the week ending February 6 due to layoffs in manufacturing, with 2,014 more claims than in the week before. Michigan's initial claims increased by 1,724 because of continued layoffs in the automobile industry.

The largest decrease in initial claims was in California which reported 13,535 fewer claims than in the preceding week, mostly due to fewer layoffs in the construction industry. Pennsylvania 9,491 fewer claims than in the previous week due to fewer layoffs in the construction, trade, and service industries.



Source:
U.S. Department of Labor
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Thursday, 22 August 2019

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