Jobless claims rise in holiday-distorted week
January 4, 2013 12:42 AM EST
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week, but the data continues to be too distorted by the holidays to offer a clear read of labor market conditions.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week's figure was revised to show 12,000 more applications than previously reported.
Claims data reported for the week ended December 22 had been artificially depressed by the holidays, which resulted in data for 19 states being estimated.
A Labor Department official said claims data for nine states, including California and Virginia, had been estimated last week because of the Christmas and New Year holidays. This suggests the numbers are subject to revisions next week.
The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, rose 250 to 360,000. The claims data has no bearing on December's employment report, scheduled for release on Friday.
Employers are expected to have added 150,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, little changed from 146,000 in November, according to a Reuters survey of economists.
Job gains in the first 11 months of last year averaged about 151,000 per month, not enough to significantly lower unemployment. Employers' hesitancy to ramp up hiring had been blamed on the so-called fiscal cliff, a combination of sharp government spending cuts and higher taxes.
Although Congress this week approved a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, the budget problems are far from resolved. That could continue to cast a shadow of uncertainty and hurt job growth.
The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid increased 44,000 to 3.25 million in the week ended December 22.
(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)
Most Popular Slideshows
Join the Conversation
- Tourre on stand says email in SEC case 'not accurate'
- Syrian authorities blocking access to needy in Homs - Red Cross
- Faith in European Union at low ebb, EU poll says
- Former UBS banker gets 18 months, $1 million fine, for muni bid-rigging scheme
- U.S. judge halts challenges to Detroit's bankruptcy bid
- Marvel Announces Release Dates Of 11 Upcoming Movies From 2015 To 2019
- Xiaomi Becomes World’s Third Largest Smartphone Manufacturer By Dethroning Huawei
- Entry Of Peshmerga Fighters From Iraq Boosts The Kobani Battle Against ISIS: Turkey Provides Transit
- Nexus 6, 9 Buyers on November Release Will Enjoy These 3 Killer Lollipop 5.0 Features First
- Woman Hanged In Iran Talks Abuse In Prison, Left Chilling Message To Family
- Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra Says ‘Apple iPhone 6 Is The Most Beautiful Smartphone Ever Built’
- Nokia Lumia 730 v. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown