Weekly Jobless Claims Hit 500,000 Nine Month High

weekly-jobless-claims-hit-500000-nine-month-highIn the week ending Aug. 14 new weekly claims for jobless benefits rose 12,000 to 500,000 which is the highest level since mid-November, 2009.

The Labor Department said jobless benefit claims in the week to August 14 increased by 12,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 488,000. The 4-week moving average was 482,500, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 474,500.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast so-called continuing claims rising to 4.50 million from a previously reported 4.45 million.

Though the latest figure came well as most economists’ expectations of 475,000. But this time economists had expected claims to drop 488,000.

Former Citigroup economist Brian Jones, “The labor market is still in a funk.”

Chief financial economist Chris Rupkey at Bank of Tokyo-MitsubishI UFJ in New York said, “There are some technical factors out there and the seasonal factors seem to be pushing it up a little bit. But given the trend of claims it looks like the economy ran into a wall in August.”

Currently US unemployment rate is 9.5 percent. In order to drag down the unemployment rate claims need to fall into the 300,000.

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