US jobless claims rise 20,000 last week

WASHINGTON, Nov 4 (BestGrowthStock) – New U.S. claims for
unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week,
government data showed on Thursday, underlining the persistent
weakness in the labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased
20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 457,000, the Labor Department
said, reversing the prior week’s decline.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to
443,000 from the previously reported 434,000. The government
revised the prior week’s figure up to 437,000.

The report came a day after the Federal Reserve announced
it would buy an additional $600 billion worth government bonds
by the middle of next year to spur the lackluster economic
recovery and boost employment.

The second round of asset purchases is intended to push
interest rates further down, thereby stimulating domestic
demand and prevent the current low inflation environment from
spiraling into a damaging bout of deflation.

The claims data has little influence on October’s
employment report due on Friday as it falls outside the survey
period. The government is expected to report that nonfarm
payrolls increased 60,000 last month, likely the first
expansion since May, after dropping 95,000 in September,
according to a Reuters survey.

A Labor Department official said there was nothing unusual
in the claims data and described the report as fairly clean.

Last week, the four-week average of new jobless claims,
considered a better measure of underlying labor market trends,
rose 2,000 to 456,000.

The number of people still receiving benefits after an
initial week of aid fell 42,000 to 4.34 million in the week
ended Oct. 23, the lowest level since the week ending Nov. 22,
2008. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 4.38 million.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast so-called
continuing claims rising to 4.38 million from a previously
reported 4.36 million.

The number of people on emergency benefits increased
198,579 to 3.98 million in the week ended Oct. 16.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

US jobless claims rise 20,000 last week