Finance Globe

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

New claims for jobless benefits rose by 17,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 474,000 for the week ending December 5, the Department of Labor reported today. The unexpected rise in initial jobless claims comes after five straight weeks of declines. The four-week moving average was 473,750, down 7,750 from the previous week's revised average of 481,500.

The advance seasonally-adjusted insured unemployment rate for the week ending November 28 was 3.9%, a .2 percentage point decrease from the previous week's unrevised rate of 4.1%.

The number of people who were receiving unemployment benefits during the week ending November 28 was 5,157,000, a decrease of 303,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 5,460,000. The four-week moving average was 5,416,500, a decrease of 123,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 5,540,000. For the year, the average number has been around 5.767 million.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending November 21 were in Puerto Rico at 6.1%, Oregon at 5.6%, Alaska at 5.5%, and Nevada at 5.1%. Other states with high insured unemployment rates at or above 4.5% were Wisconsin, Washington, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Idaho, and North Carolina.

For the week ending November 28, Wisconsin reported the largest increase in initial jobless claims with 8067 more claims than in the previous week, led by layoffs in the construction, manufacturing, and service industries.

The next largest increases were in Kansas which reported an increase of 3,825, Missouri with a 3,307 increase, Iowa with an increase of 2,789, and Indiana which reported 2,162 more claims than in the previous week.

California had the largest decrease in initial claims with 28,672 fewer claims than the previous week, citing a shorter workweek and fewer layoffs in the service industry as the reason for the dramatic drop.

Also with large decreases were Texas which had 9,519 fewer claims than in the previous week, reporting fewer layoffs in the service, finance, and manufacturing industries; and North Carolina which reported a decrease of 8,873 due to fewer layoffs in construction, trade, and transportation industries. Florida had 7,214 fewer layoffs and Illinois layoffs decreased by 6,610 from the previous week.

On Tuesday, the White House issued a statement outlining the Obama administration's plans to accelerate job growth. The key elements of the plan were to continue investing in the nation's infrastructure, create jobs through clean energy investments, and help businesses fund the hiring of new employees by giving small business owners more tax breaks and by reducing some of the fees involved with obtaining small business loans.

"The bold and difficult steps the President took to stabilize the financial system have reduced the cost of TARP by more than $200 billion, providing additional resources for job creation and for deficit reduction," the White House said in its statement.


Sources:
U.S. Department of Labor
The White House
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Saturday, 24 August 2019

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