Initial Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise, but Continuing Claims Plunge

Initial Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise, But Continuing Claims PlungeInitial jobless claims unexpectedly rose 13,000 to 462,000, but continuing claims plunged another 112,000 to 4.4 million, the Labor Department announced Thursday. Some of the decline in continuing claims comes from people who have exhausted their benefits, but some of it is also due to people finding work.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted initial jobless claims would dip to 443,000. Last week's claims total was revised down 7,000 to 449,000. The four-week moving average also suffered a setback, rising 2,250 to 459,000. Economists prefer to focus on the four-week average, as it smooths out bumps in the data caused by holidays, strikes, weather-related layoffs, and other anomalous events.

The initial jobless claims rate will have to drop below 400,000 during the next two quarters before economists and investors will have confidence that commercial activity is increasing at a pace that would prompt most companies to curtail layoffs and resume hiring.

A year ago, initial jobless claims totaled 521,000, the four-week moving average was at 534,000, and continuing claims totaled 5.95 million.

Positive Trends in Employment Figures

Despite the unexpected rise in initial jobless claims, which can be volatile, there were two bright spots in the latest report -- emergency claims and the trend in state-level claims.

States reported 3.89 million people claiming Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits for the week ending Sept. 25, the latest week for which data is available, a decrease of 235,512 from the prior week. A year ago, there were 3.39 million people claiming EUC benefits.

Further, state-level claims exhibited more evidence that the layoff trend is subsiding, as the pattern of lower highs for the states posting weekly increases in jobless claims continued. There were only two, large-increase states, but their totals were low: Pennsylvania, where claims rose 2,869; and New Jersey, where they were up 2,132. Increases in the remaining that had them states were low, with the top three being Georgia (up 1,361) Indiana (up 833) and Washington state (up 677).

Meanwhile, large weekly decreases in jobless claims were recorded in California (down 6,131) and Florida (down 5,357).

Overall, this week's labor report is a wash. Yes, initial jobless claims unexpectedly jumped, but state-level claims continue to furnish evidence that we have passed the peak in layoffs. U.S. job growth clearly remains inadequate, but at least the layoffs appear to be subsiding.

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Americans receiving EUC benefits is down only because there are no more benefits for us to receive. I live in Wyoming and have been unemployeed for over a year. Like others I have applied for every job that I can, most that I am very much over quilified for and all I get is that I did not get selected. More than likely it is due to my age being 58. My wife and I are now living on her check that totals a large $299.00 per week that gives use $1200.00 a month. That is not enough to pay all of our bills. We are now starting Chapter 13 bankrupcy just to live. And all I hear is that the EUC is going down I can not get EUC benefits from Wyoming because there is no Teir 4 for this state because they say that the unemployment rate is at 6.5%. This is only the percentage that Is collecting benefits and does not take in account the people that are still out of work and not receiving any benefits.SO STOP REPORTING THAT WE ARE IN RECOVERY, I AM SICK OF IT. You that report the news need to start investagating just what the real numbers are and more than likely you will find out that the numbers are in the 20% and not that 9.6% crap that is been put out for the last year. Count all of us that are unemployeed.

October 15 2010 at 3:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I have never read so much garbage in my life. The unemployment situation is still dire. If you don't think so and it appears from your ranbling a article you don't ask the more than 13 million unemplyed !!! Are you a reprter or a supporter???

October 14 2010 at 7:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Continuing claims decline as benefits run out. The decline in continuing claims is not necessarily good news.

October 14 2010 at 1:38 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

Nice article Joe I can see what party you voted for.....SPIN.....SPIN....SPIN.....before the November elections....The bell will toll in November.

October 14 2010 at 12:27 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply


October 14 2010 at 12:15 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
bill griffis

they never factor in the 99er's who ran out of benifits what about federal programs EUB, HUB figures the long time unemployed when the christmas season is over we be back where was before. the goods that the strore have for the season was order over 6 months ago

October 14 2010 at 11:48 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply