Unemployment Aid Applications Up for 2nd Straight Week

unemployment aid applications up for 2nd straight weekWASHINGTON (AP) - The number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose for the second straight week, a sign the hiring market is recovering at a slow and uneven pace.

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 402,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Applications had been below 400,000 for three straight weeks.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, was mostly unchanged at slightly below 400,000.

The average fell to a seven-month low two weeks ago. Weekly applications had been declining for two months.

Applications would need to stay below 375,000 consistently to push down the unemployment rate significantly. They haven't been at that level since February.

The report comes one day before the government reports on job growth in November. Economists project that employers added a net 125,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate stayed at 9 percent for the second straight month.

While the job growth would be an improvement from October, when the economy added just 80,000 jobs, it's still barely enough to keep pace with population growth,

Some economists are more optimistic after payroll provider ADP said Wednesday that companies added 206,000 workers last month, the most this year. That survey doesn't include government agencies, which have been cutting jobs.

Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, said he now expects the government to say employers added 140,000 net jobs last month.
Recent data suggest the economy is picking up. Retailers reported a strong start to holiday sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, consumer confidence surged in November to the highest level since July and Americans' pay rose in October by the most in seven months.

Many economists say that is driving stronger growth in the final three months of the year. They forecast a 3 percent annual rate for the October-December quarter. That would be an improvement from the 2 percent rate in the July-September quarter.

But the outlook is darker in Europe, which is struggling to contain its two-year old debt crisis and is on the verge of another recession.

Europe's problems led the Federal Reserve and other major central banks on Wednesday to take steps to ease the strain on global financial markets. They made it easier for banks in Europe and elsewhere to obtain dollars to fund more loans. That could support economic growth by making it easier for banks to lend to each other and to businesses.

Most economists expect Europe to slip into recession soon. That would cool demand for U.S. exports and slow growth next year.

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marine1942

What a shock !!! Obama said recession was over years ago. If he lied about that do you think he has been lying about other things ? Just a question--

December 01 2011 at 8:37 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
billyjoeobama

Way to go Obama, thanks for the Hope and Change you freaking idiot.

December 01 2011 at 3:31 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
cpo1514

There is no recovery! This is a standard continuing state of being since 2006 elections (2007 Lib take over). Need a change? No mo hope??/ TELL the Bamster to resign immediately........ The Huffy post should really start an OBAMA COUNTDOWN CALENDAR.... ideal gift for the USA for CHRISTMAS.......

December 01 2011 at 3:22 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cpo1514's comment
warrenbent

There is a recovery. It's just that it is a weak recovery.

The reason is that large swaths of the economy are suffering under the attacks perpetrated by the goons from Foggy Bottom. Just last week the head of the CBO testified that not only had the "stimulus" produced a net negative effect on the econom during it's existencey, but more importantly it is expected to continue to be an economic drag for the remainder of this decade.

Meanshile, sectors of the economy not under attack such as personal conumption and business investment semonstrate solid growth.

The economy is in recovery, it just doesn't feel like it because of the uneven nature of the recovery caused by the attacks of goons from Foggy Bottom.

December 01 2011 at 3:38 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
7 replies to warrenbent's comment
warrenbent

Continuing the trend that has been in place for much of the weak recovery, certain aspects of the economy that suffer from nefarious intervention by the Foggy Bottom goons (namely, employment and hosuing) continue to strgulle mightily sailing into the self-inflicted headwinds.

Meanwhile, other areas of the economy unencumbered by the attacks perpetrated by the Foggy Bottom goons (namely, consumer spending and business investment) exhibit strong growth.

Mouth-breathing, knuckle-draggers strike again!

December 01 2011 at 3:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
David

But the Government told us that hiring is on the rise. November and December are always layoff months.

December 01 2011 at 2:32 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
Frank

Not to dampen things further but the numbers over the past 1 - 2 months were skewed by the hiring of holiday minimum wage part time/temp help ( not the kind of jobs that are going to stimulate a recovery). Good chance we will see an uptick in unemployment come January.

December 01 2011 at 1:29 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Frank's comment
pgile

Not to dampen things, but what do you think they mean when they refer to "seasonally-adjusted" numbers?

December 01 2011 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rich

The real sad thing is we should be cutting into the unemployment rate at a staggering speed. Presently there are thousands of people retireing daily which in most cases opens up a job. This makes the unemployment rate many times worse as the retirement alone should wipe out the unemployment in the very foreseeable future. Scarey isn't it!

December 01 2011 at 1:27 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to rich's comment
warrenbent

Actually, not.

While people are indeed retiring, others are entering the workforce for the first time. This is why you hear the repeated refrain that x number of jobs need to be created just to keep pace.

There are obvious issues with employment growth, but a shrinking workforce is not among them.

December 01 2011 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cpo1514

Rich.... you are one smart dude.... ever thought of doing the Huffy post????? Report what is factual & not from barney.....or biteme....

December 01 2011 at 3:24 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
jdykbpl45

Obama stands for: No hope, no change, more debt, more spending, Not working then blame Obama!

December 01 2011 at 12:27 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
someoneole

Yesterday, it was yippee, people are buying again let the good times round, and today a bit of reality sets in.

December 01 2011 at 11:57 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
darkcloudcoward4

Shovel ready strikes again.

December 01 2011 at 11:56 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply