New Jobless Claims Rise Less Than Expected

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits for the first time barely rose last week, after two weeks of sharp drops, further evidence that layoffs are easing.

The Labor Department says initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 434,000 last week. That's lower than the 447,000 that analysts expected.

The number of continuing claims dropped 179,000 to 4.8 million. But that figure doesn't include an additional 5.4 million people receiving unemployment under federal emergency programs, as of the week ending Dec. 19, the latest data available.

Economists are closely watching initial claims, which are considered a gauge of the pace of layoffs and an indication of companies' willingness to hire new workers.

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  • by omgPEOPLE!!! Location: ANYWHERE, nc on Jan 12, 2010 at 02:37 PM
    Many of us have been on unemployment for a year or more----the heck with fixing highways--we need work! By the way, people over 50 NEED their jobs too!!!!
  • by isit2012yet? on Jan 8, 2010 at 11:37 AM
    So I guess 434000 jobs lost in a week is evidence that layoffs are easing? Who's behind the wheel here? I wish this administration would focus on JOBS instead of climate change and pillaging our healthcare system. The taxpaying middle class is like a sand castle here and high tide is coming.
  • by fed up Location: aurora on Jan 7, 2010 at 08:43 AM
    Maybe the reason the jobless rate is slowing is because what few companies that are left in N C are government related, and every one knows you don't get laid off from a government job. But the only way to get one is to be a friend, or contribute to the election fund of a comrade who got in office the same way.
  • by Vance on Jan 7, 2010 at 08:05 AM
    Barely rose?In other words they still rose.To much spin.What happened to the 8% unemployment rate Obonga promised.

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