Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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New Claims for Unemployment Benefits Dip

The number people who filed for first-time unemployment benefits fell by 10,000 last week, according to a government report released on Thursday.

The advance number for new claims was 382,000 for the week ending April 2, and the insured unemployment rate was unchanged from the previous week’s rate at 3%, the Labor Department reported.

States reported that just over 3.5 million Americans were claiming Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) in mid-March, down from nearly 5.6 million at the same time in 2010.

The number of people claiming EUC gives us a picture of how many have been unemployed for the long term, as EUC only becomes available for those whose state benefits have run out - generally after 26 weeks.

Alaska had the highest insured unemployment rate of 6.5%, followed by Puerto Rico at 4.9%, Idaho at 4.7%, and both Oregon and Rhode Island at 4.7%.

Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Montana, Connecticut, New Jersey, and California also had insured unemployment rates significantly above the national average.

Texas had the largest increase in the number of initial claims, by 3,866, due to lay-offs in the trade, service, and manufacturing industries.

The number of new claims in California increased by 3,580 because of lay-offs in the manufacturing industry, and lay-offs in forestry, fishing, and agriculture.

The largest decrease in new claims was in North Carolina, which had 3,137 claims than in the prior week due to fewer lay-offs in construction, trade, and service industries.

Separately, CEOs are feeling more upbeat about economic conditions in the U.S., according to a report released today by the Conference Board.

Lynn Franco, Director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center said, “CEOs’ confidence has improved, yet again, and expectations are that the economy will continue to expand in the coming months. As for the employment outlook, CEOs are more bullish than last year, with half now saying they intend to ramp up hiring.”

For the first quarter 2011, 85% of CEOs say that economic conditions are better than they were six months ago, and 66% expect an improvement over the next six months. In the previous quarter, only 56% of CEOs felt that way.

But while CEOs expressed more confidence in the economy in general, they showed mixed feelings about their own industries.

Nearly 61% said that conditions have improved first quarter 2011, compared to 55% saying that in the previous quarter. CEOs who had expectations for improvement in the months ahead dropped to 49%, down from 51% who felt that way in the last quarter 2010.

Half of all CEOs expect an increase in employment in their industries, up from only 30% who felt that way a year ago.

According to the Conference Board, CEOs say regulation and litigation are major obstacles to hiring new workers, followed by health care costs and wage and salary costs.


Source:
U.S. Department of Labor
The Conference Board
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Monday, 26 August 2019

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