US jobless claims rise 26,000 last week

WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (BestGrowthStock) – New U.S. claims for
unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, a
government report showed on Thursday, but a drop in the
four-week moving average to a fresh two-year low suggested the
labor market was on the cusp of solid job gains

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased
26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 436,000, the Labor Department
said.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to
425,000 from the previously reported 407,000. The government
revised the prior week’s figure up to 410,000.

The data has little bearing on Friday’s employment report
for November as it falls outside the survey period. Anecdotal
evidence points to a strengthening in the labor market and the
government is expected to report that nonfarm payrolls rose
140,000 last month after increasing 151,000 in October.

Last week’s claims covered the Thanksgiving holiday and
filings tend to fall during that period. However, the decline
in actual claims was not as large as the Labor Department’s
model had anticipated, leading to a rise in the adjusted claims
figure, a department official said.

The four-week average of new jobless claims, considered a
better measure of underlying labor market trends, fell 5,750 to
431,000, the lowest since early August 2008.

Despite the spike in initial claims last week, they
remained firmly within ranges economists regard as signaling
solid jobs growth.

The number of people still receiving benefits under regular
state programs after an initial week of aid rose 53,000 to 4.27
million in the week ended Nov. 20, above expectations for 4.21
million. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 4.22
million.

The number of people on emergency unemployment benefits
increased 142,874 to 3.94 million in the week ended Nov. 13,
the latest week for which data is available. A total of 8.91
million people were claiming unemployment benefits during that
period under all programs.

About 2 million unemployed people will lose their benefits
by the end of this month after Congress failed on Tuesday to
renew them.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

US jobless claims rise 26,000 last week