Jobless Claims Jump to Four-Month High, Cast Shadow Over Labor Market

Thursday, 04 Apr 2013 08:33 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose to a four-month high last week, although the increase partly reflects seasonal distortions around the spring holidays.

Weekly applications increased 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 385,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the third straight weekly increase and the highest level since late November. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose to 354,250.

A Labor Department spokesman says it can be difficult to seasonally adjust the figures during the Easter holiday because the timing of the holiday varies from year to year. Economists warned before the report that the data could be volatile.

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The recent increases could suggest that companies are cutting jobs, possibly because of steep government spending cuts that began on March 1. Other reports have pointed to that possible trend, although most economists have said that any reductions are likely temporary.

The government will issue the March employment report Friday.

Job growth has picked up in recent months. Employers added an average of 200,000 jobs per month from November through February. That's nearly double the average from last spring.

Stronger economic growth this year has spurred more hiring. A steady housing recovery has boosted home construction and prices. Higher home prices make Americans feel wealthier, which can spur more spending.

In February, consumer spending rose by the most in five months. And consumer confidence improved in March from the previous month, according to a survey released last week by the University of Michigan.

Two reports Wednesday, however, suggested companies may have grown more cautious last month. Services companies grew in March but at a slower pace than in February, according to the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group. Service firms, which include retailers, hotels, restaurants and financial companies, cut back on hiring and a measure of new orders fell.

And private employers added fewer jobs in March compared with February, according to payroll processor ADP. Construction firms didn't add any positions after three months of strong gains.

Several economists lowered their forecasts for hiring in March after Wednesday's reports. Still, many analysts cautioned that the ADP is not always an accurate predictor of the government's more comprehensive figures.

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Journal of Commerce: Nation's Rail Network Is Getting Bogged Down

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 14:44 PM

Bottlenecks are holding up the nation's rail traffic, but higher volume from a recovering economy isn't the cause. . . .

Krugman: Companies Doing Tax Inversion 'Shirking Their Civic Duty'

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 10:51 AM

Debate is raging among those who think corporate tax inversion mergers should be banned and those who don't. Count Nobel . . .

Global Business Travel Spending to Reach Record in 2014

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 10:49 AM

Global business travel spending will rise nearly 7 percent to a record $1.18 trillion this year, bolstered by growth in  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved