–Initial Claims 4-week Moving Average Low Since August 2, 2008 Week
By Kevin Kastner
WASHINGTON (MNI) – Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment
benefits rose 26,000 to 436,000 in the November 27 holiday week, above
the 425,000 level expected after the lower than expected level in the
previous week, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.
A Labor Department analyst said that seasonal factors expected
unadjusted claims to fall by 16.9%, or about 78,698 claims in the
holiday week, which was as short as three business days in some states.
Instead, they fell only 11.7%, or 54,196 claims, to 410,617. Unadjusted
claims were at a level of 457,669 in the comparable week a year ago.
The analyst said that two states were estimated in the current
week. Claims from Alaska were once again estimated by the Labor
Department, while Washington state was estimated by the state itself due
to computer problems.
Economists surveyed by Market News International had expected
initial claims to rise to 425,000 in the current week, from the 407,000
level originally reported in the previous week. The November 20 week’s
level was revised up to 410,000.
Despite this week’s increase in initial claims, the seasonally
adjusted 4-week moving average fell by 5,750 to 431,000 in the November
27 week, the lowest level since the August 2, 2008 week.
In the November 20 week, continuing claims rose by 53,000 to
4,270,000. Unadjusted continuing claims fell 211,927 to 3,659,067 in the
November 20 week, still well below the 4,791,687 level a year earlier.
The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate held steady at
3.4% in the November 20 week, still down sharply from the 4.2% rate
reported in the comparable week a year earlier.
The unemployment rate among the insured labor force is well below
that reported monthly by the Labor Department because claims are
approved for the most part only for job losers, not the job leavers and
labor force reentrants included in the monthly report.
The Labor Department said that the level of unadjusted Emergency
Unemployment Compensation benefits claims rose by 142,874 in the
November 13 week, bringing that category to 3,944,168. Extended benefits
claims rose 92,458 to 955,928 not seasonally adjusted.
The Labor Department reported that a total of 8,909,882 persons
claimed unemployment benefits in the November 13 week, up 377,380 from
the 8,532,502 claims reported in the previous week, but down from the
9,644,990 persons in the comparable week a year ago. These data are not
seasonally adjusted, and include regular state claims, federal employee
claims, new veterans claims, the EUC and extended benefits programs,
state additional benefits, and STC/Workshare claims.
** Market News International Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **