Jobless Claims Fall Marginally as Recovery Sputters AlongThe nation received some qualified good news on the labor front today as initial jobless claims fell 23,000 to 452,000 for the latest reporting week. However, the prior week's total was revised upward by 13,000 to 475,000.

The consensus of economists surveyed by Bloomberg had been that initial jobless claims would dip to 455,000.

Also, the four-week moving average fell 4,250 to 458,000. Economists consider the moving average to be the more useful statistic because it smooths out bumps in the data caused by holidays, strikes, weather-related layoffs and other anomalies.

Meanwhile, continuing claims decreased 9,000 to 4.41 million. Some of this decline comes from people who have exhausted their benefits, but some of it is also due to people finding work.

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.

Substantial One-Year Progress

A year ago, initial jobless claims totaled 535,000, the four-week moving average was at 533,250, and continuing claims totaled 5.89 million.

States also reported 4.04 million persons claiming Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits for the week ending Oct. 2, the latest period for which data is available, an increase of 152,112 from the prior week. A year ago, there were 3.43 million persons claiming EUC benefits.

Also, the pattern of lower highs for the states posting weekly increases in jobless claims paused last week, after about a month of steady declines. There were five large-increase states, up from two last week: New York, up 8,558; North Carolina, 8,470; California, 7,929; Florida, 7,229; and Pennsylvania, 5,682.

The highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending Oct. 2, the latest for which data is available, were in Puerto Rico, 6.4%; Alaska, 4.4%: Nevada, 4.0%; California, 3.9%; New Jersey, 3.9%; Oregon, 3.9%; and Pennsylvania, 3.8%.

This week's jobless claims report falls into the category of "a glass half-full." Initial jobless claims did decline, but the large revised increase in the prior week's figure erased more than half of the improvement. Also, as noted, state-level claims popped higher, but one week's numbers aren't cause enough to declare a break in the downward trend in that key metric. The bottom line: Jobless claims are trending in the right direction -- downward -- an indication that layoffs are subsiding. They're just not falling fast enough yet to suggest the economic recovery is gaining steam.

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ggschk

Gezz.......I CANNOT wait till November 2nd !, to vote out the Progressives.

October 21 2010 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert & Lisa

Obama and thugs, change is all we have left.

October 21 2010 at 12:26 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
gritzsl

Jobs that are being create are marginal jobs. Mostly in the service industry sector. These are jobs that can barely support an individual at the poverty line level. They are not jobs that can even come close to support a family. Basically this means that many individuals that were making between $18.00 to $22.00 per hour are now making less than $10.00. Better paying jobs are still being outsourced to China and India where companies can get as well or better educated individuals at less than 50% of the cost. Until the government create a real value for companies to hire American jobs will continue to fly overseas. Companies are in business to make money, which they are doing. Its all about the bottom line. That is why the stock market continue surge. In the long term this tend will not only hurt the unemployment in the US but it will hurt company profits. Wall Street companies only look at the next quarter or at best a few quarters out. Expectation drive the market. Executives and Wall Street insiders bank on higher stock prices. Its all a big game.

October 21 2010 at 12:02 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gritzsl's comment
bill griffis

how ture. alot of comopanines are outsourcing whole department to compananies that do the department job for half the pay and no benifits. and adopted a policy when ur task is done GO HOME.if u making 15.00 an hr but u done in 3hrs it break down to 5.62 and hr and u still must pay for ur health insurance

October 21 2010 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
clay iii

jobs still hard to come by yet Dow rises? smells fishy to me?

October 21 2010 at 10:55 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to clay iii's comment