Jobless Claims Rise

Published by: Frank Galvano on 23rd Jun 2011 | View all blogs by Frank Galvano
Jobless Claims Rise

The U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday that initial claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week as the weak economic recovery continues to deter hiring.  In the week that ended June 18th, the agency said claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 429,000, up 9,000 from the prior week.  Analysts in a recent survey were expecting claims to fall to 413,000.

Initial claims have remained stubbornly above the 400,000 mark since the early part of April as the job market has struggled to improve.  The Federal Reserve remarked Wednesday that the labor market had not improved as much as it had anticipated just two months ago.

Following a two day meeting of the agency's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), Fed officials expressed concern about the nation's rising unemployment rate, which reached 9.1 percent in May.  “We expect the unemployment rate to continue to decline, but the pace of progress remains frustratingly slow,” explained Fed chairman Ben S. Bernanke.

The Labor Department, meanwhile, reported that the four-week moving average of claims remained at 4226,250, unchanged from the prior week.  The moving average is a measure designed to smooth out seasonal volatility in weekly data.

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