Weekly initial jobless claimsInitial jobless claims rose 26,000 to 436,000 in the latest week, but U.S. Labor Department officials caution that the report contains a seasonal adjustment associated with the Thanksgiving Day holiday. A Bloomberg survey had expected initial jobless claims to total 425,000. The Labor Department revised the previous week's total 3,000 higher to 410,000.

However, the four-week moving average declined 5,750 to 431,000, which is a more encouraging sign. Economists naturally emphasize that measure precisely because it smooths out anomalies due to holidays like Thanksgiving Day and other one-time events. Staying with the see-saw numbers in this weekly report, continuing claims rose 53,000 to 4.27 million.

Jobless claims are still well above the 400,000 mark generally accepted as a level that would indicate commercial activity is increasing at a pace that prompts most companies to curtail layoffs and resume hiring.

Moreover, even with the week's rise to 436,000, new jobless claims are still at a two-year low. A year ago, they totaled 475,000, the four-week moving average was at 492,000 and continuing claims totaled 5.52 million.

More Claims for Emergency Benefits

The Labor Department's jobless claims report also reported 3.94 million people claimed Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits for the week ending Nov. 13, the latest week for which data are available, a increase of 142,874 from the prior week. A year ago, 3.78 million people claimed EUC benefits.

Also, the pattern of fewer states posting large increases in jobless claims paused last week. Five states showed large increases (up from one last week): California, 4,442; Pennsylvania, 4,124; Kentucky, 4,097; Illinois, 3,448; and Texas, 2,999.

The highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending Nov. 20, the latest week for which data are available, were in Alaska, 6.3%; Puerto Rico, 5.3%; Oregon, 4.6%; Pennsylvania, 4.2%; and California, 4.1%.

Separately, the Monster (MWW) Employment Index fell four points to 134 in November from October -- its fourth decline in five months. Although the index, which measures online job demand based on ads placed online, grew on a year-over-year basis for the 10th straight month, November's 13% year-over-year growth rate is lower than the 21% rate recorded this summer.

"The slight month-to-month decline in the Monster Employment Index could be attributed partly to seasonal trends typically witnessed at this time of the year," Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Monster Worldwide, said in a statement. "The outlook however continues to be one of modest recovery with job availability generally higher over the year across most sectors as we approach 2011."

With this week's initial claims data likely skewed by the Thanksgiving holiday, investors shouldn't conclude that the downtrend has slowed, let alone stopped.

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PeekachewsRevenj

More spin numbers. It is not just this administration either. The last one pumped out spin numbers too. It does not matter who is in there, they can have a "D" or an "R" behind their title, BUT THEY ARE ALL CORPORATE CROOKS! The sooner people realize that, the sooner maybe the people can take back their government. I doubt it though.

December 03 2010 at 1:52 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bill griffis

here we go again more BS numbers

December 02 2010 at 9:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
dfwosdfqkoasd

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December 02 2010 at 5:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
rcumor

And do you count the one that have run out of benefits?

December 02 2010 at 1:35 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
wollardjenny

I think one has to pay taxes on their unemployment. It may be not at the time of the check but at least at the end of the year. I got this information from several people I know on unemployment. Also,they said that if one wanted taxes could be taken out at the time of payment.

December 02 2010 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wollardjenny's comment
bill griffis

yes u canhave taxes taken out of the check

December 02 2010 at 9:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vobox3343

And the Conservatives say, "Who cares, you'll do exactly as we dictate." Now, let us all sing O Holy Night.

December 02 2010 at 11:24 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dray907023

IT IS REAL EASY TO FIGURE OUT THE UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS . IF YOU AIN'T PAYING INCOME TAX YOUR UNEMPLOYED AND NOT THE TAX YOU PAY ON YOUR UNEMPLOYMENT CHECK BUT REAL WAGE TAXES. THE NUMBERS WOULD GO THROUGH THE ROOF.

December 02 2010 at 11:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jkennedy806

HELLO OUT THERE IN WASHINGTON WE NEED HELP, YOU BAIL OUT EVERYONE BUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, THE DREAM IS SLIPPING AWAY -- THERE IS NO RECOVERY ON MAIN STR

December 02 2010 at 11:08 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jkennedy806's comment
vobox3343

The voters have spoken, you're not to be bailed out.

December 02 2010 at 11:25 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply