Finance Globe

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

New jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week to 465,000, up 12,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 453,000, the Labor Department reported on Thursday. The four week moving average, which smooths out weekly volatility, was 463,250 - a decrease of 3,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 466,500.

The national insured unemployment rate was little changed for the week ending September 11 at 3.5%, down slightly from the prior week’s revised rate of 3.6%.

There were just over 4.2 million long-term unemployed claiming Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) for the week ending September 4, an increase of 113,785 from the week before. EUC is for those whose state benefits have run out, generally at 27 or more weeks of unemployment. The number of jobless people claiming EUC is almost 1 million higher than it was in the same week a year ago.

Puerto Rico continues to have the highest insured unemployment rate in the 6.2%, followed by New Jersey at 4.4%, Oregon at 4.3%, and Nevada at 4.2%.

Florida had the largest increase in new jobless claims for the week ending September 11, with 2,755 more applicants than they had the week before. State officials attribute the higher instance of new claims to layoffs in the service, construction, and manufacturing industries, and agriculture.

California had the largest decrease with 10,754 fewer claims than in the prior week due to a shorter workweek and fewer layoffs in the service industry.

Little improvement has been made for the job situation and the national unemployment rate - which includes those who have unemployment benefits as well as those who don’t - was 9.6% in August.

Other than during the fourth quarter of 2009 when it topped out at just over 10%, the national unemployment rate has held steadily at around 9.5% since May 2009, give or take a few tenths of a percent.

According to a separate report released on Tuesday by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nevada’s unemployment rate reached a new high in August at 14.4%, though Michigan (13.1%) and California (12.4%) were no far behind.

North Dakota’s unemployment rate at 3.7% continues to be the lowest in the nation, followed by South Dakota (4.5%) and Nebraska (4.6%).

For August, twenty-five of U.S. states showed unemployment rates significantly lower than that of the nation’s rate of 9.6%, seven states’ jobless rates were significantly higher, and eighteen states and the District of Colombia had unemployment rats that were not much different from the national rate.

The West is the region with the highest unemployment rate at 10.8% for August, and the Northeast had the lowest at 8.8%.

U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Statistics
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Saturday, 13 April 2024

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