Initial Jobless Claims Jump 20,000 to 457,000

In another setback on the employment front, the latest weekly initial jobless claims jumped a larger-than-anticipated 20,000 to 457,000, the Labor Department announced today.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted new claims would total 443,000. The previous week's figure was also revised higher by 3,000, to 437,000.

The four-week moving average rose just 2,000 to 456,000. Economists prefer to focus on this measure because it smooths out bumps in the data caused by holidays, strikes, weather-related layoffs and other anomalous events. Continuing claims, though, fell by another 42,000 to 4.34 million. 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.

The initial 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 522,000, the four-week moving average was 526,500 and continuing claims totaled 5.75 million.

Online Want Ad Growth Slows

Separately, the Monster (MWW) Employment Index fell 2 points to 136 in October -- its third decline in four months. Although the index, which measures job demand based on want ads placed online, rose on a year-over-year basis for the ninth straight month, October's 13.3% year-over-year growth rate is lower than the 21% rate recorded this summer. Monster also said all 28 metro areas it tracks showed an increase in jobs posted online in October, on a year-over-year basis.

The Labor Department report showed that the states reported 3.98 million people claiming Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits for the week ending Oct. 16, the latest week for which data are available, an increase of 198,579 from the prior week. A year ago,3.5 million people claimed emergency benefits.

The pattern of lower highs for the states posting weekly increases in jobless claims slowed somewhat last week. There were three large-increase states, up from one last week: California, with 3,755; Illinois, with 3,710; and Pennsylvania, with 2,256.

The highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending Oct. 16 were in Puerto Rico, 5.8%; Alaska, 5%: California, 4.1%; Oregon, 4.1%: Pennsylvania, 4.1%; and New Jersey, 3.9%.

This week's jobless claims report exemplifies why economists concern themselves more with the four-week moving average: It's perilous to place too much emphasis on the weekly initial claims statistic. A revised 17,000 drop in last week's report was entirely wiped out by this week's 20,000-claim surge, and the difference could have been caused by any of a number of idiosyncratic factors -- such as a delay in a filing by one state or the Columbus Day holiday.

So, keep an eye on the moving average, which over the past two months has trended the right way: down.

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dad90606

the usa is ready to help other countries but there oun

November 08 2010 at 4:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert & Lisa

Reckless government spending which takes more and more from the people kills jobs. It's as simple as that. How can we compete with places that have lower taxes than we do? The countries that have the lowest taxes is where the smart people will go, leaving the rest to flounder in their poverty.

November 05 2010 at 4:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Robert & Lisa

Obama and thugs, wrecking our economy to force us into communism

November 05 2010 at 4:16 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Mortimer Snerd

To be expected. At least this Blog-Monster did not say ..."Unexpected" as they have done in the past.

November 04 2010 at 9:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
piknplundr

Oddly, the employment numbers reported by the media were much better on Monday before the election. Two days after the election, these numbers come out. Wonder what happened? Ha Ha Can't blame the people elected Tuesday. They aren't in office yet.

November 04 2010 at 6:38 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Larke

If the Obama Administration had worked on creating jobs instead of paying back the unions and supporters and tripling the deficit by ramroding his out of control agenda through, more people might be working and thus stimulating the economy. No we get cash for clunkers designed to prop up companies that employ union labor. Okay you get a new car, but lose your job, now you can't pay for your car, and therefore, you have no car. Brilliant! I'll be the first to say that insurance companies aren't perfect and they need to change. But as an industry their net profit is at 4.6% (according to yahoo industry comparison). They are the 88th most profitable industry. Health Reform does not touch the Health Provider industry (pharmaceuticals, biomedical, etc.). That industry's net profit is averaging 16%. This type of reform does not make sense. But then again, let's not let facts get in the way of the issues. However for those who search for truth, the answer is to address health care costs, and get rid of frivilous lawsuits. It's time for a business leader to step up, one who knows how to create good jobs. One who understands the small business owners need to know how much they are going to be taxed, so they can decide whether they can afford to hire or not. Create demand. Fix the housing problem by allowing true foreclosures to happen. Banks will be less hesitant to loan. Houses will start moving again, furniture and appliances will be bought. Create jobs. Extending the Bush tax cuts would be a start... But if you don't want small business across our country to hire, don't extend them. Get rid of frivilous lawsuites. They are a waste of time and resources. Defensive medicine is running costs through the roof. Allow unions to stand or fall on their on. Quit propping a small minority (10%)of the workers up. They are a big reason that jobs are going out to sea. Why should an autoworker who finished high school make more than a four year registered nurse? The answer is....they shouldn't. Folks wake up! This new group going to Washington better stand up for us or their butts are going to go back home next cycle. Don't settle for anything less than our politicians working for jobs, shrinking government waste, lowering spending, and thus fixing our economy. Business as usual does not work. Stand up folks, stand up and be heard! I am still mad as hell, and I am not going to take it any more.

November 04 2010 at 5:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Larke's comment
bdyftns

There's much more to it than that. No matter who took office in 2009, they would of been faced with the same problem. One of the major reasons jobs have been lost is the out sourcing of jobs to other countries. Who can blame big business for doing so when unions drive wages up so high that it can force corporations out of business. Tax credits to business's that rehire American workers? Also tax credits for turning former full time employees that went to part time, back to full time so they can receive their benefits? Hopefully both parties will figure it out.

November 05 2010 at 1:30 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
pacillivil1

MR OBAMA IS THE MESSIAH.. HE WALKED UP TO TOMB THAT HAD THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN IT AND SAID "ARISE " , AND OUT WALKED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY... HE IS THE MESSIAH (*_*)

November 04 2010 at 4:53 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
pacillivil1

LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT... IT'S GEORGE BUSH'S FAULT THAT WE ARE IN A DOWNTURN. IF MY BUSINESS IS UP THIS YEAR IS THAT GEORGE BUSH'S FAULT ALSO. I WISH THE LIB'S WOULD MAKE UP MY MIND SINCE I CAN'T. THE ONLY WAY I WILL GIVE MR. OBAMA CREDIT FOR MY SUCESS THIS YEAR IS IF HE STEPS UP TO THE PLATE AND ACCECPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE DOWN TURN AS A SENATOR

November 04 2010 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pacillivil1

LETS SEE ON MONDAY THE DAY BEFORE THE ELECTION THE HEADLINES WERE JOBLESS CLAIMS WERE DOWN. NOW AFTER THE MESSIA GOT HIS ASK HANDED TO HIM ONA PAPER PLATE JOBLESS CLAIMS " SKYROCKET" . AND LET ME GET THIS RIGHT "IT'S THE REPUBLICANS FAULT" GIVE ME A *UCK**G BREAK. IF THIS HEADLINE CAME OUT ON MONDAY THE DEMS WOULD HAVE LOST THE SENATE ALSO.

November 04 2010 at 4:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
boowah

Not to worry! Soon the unemployment rate will fall to 5%! When the Republicans refuse to extend benefits and they run out for millions, we'll be back where we were before the Depression. Unfortunatly, crime will skyrocket as desperate people strive to get money anyway they can. Still, we'll be safe as long as they don't organize! Oh, sorry! Maybe you'ld better start worrying after all! Entire cities up in flames and total anarchy are scary, aren't they?

November 04 2010 at 4:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply