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Unemployment Claims Increase to 290,000

Unemployment sign economyFor the first time in two months, the Labor Department reported the number of unemployment claims rose 12,000, bringing the total to a seasonally adjusted 290,000, ending November 8. Compared to this time last year, unemployment claims were 15% higher at 342.000.

Although more people applied for unemployment benefits, nationwide numbers are still low thanks to increased hiring and relatively few layoffs. In spite of this increase claims stayed below 300,000 for nine consecutive weeks, something not seen since the end of the 2000 economic boom fueled by the internet.

Meanwhile, the average number of new claims over the past month rose by 6,000, still low at 285,000. In the weekly report, the four-week average reduces seasonal vitality and for determining labor-market trends, is a far more accurate barometer.

Initial jobless claims are used to determine the volume of layoffs happening in the economy, with the number typically moving parallel to an increase in hiring. For nine straight weeks, 200,000 more jobs were added in the US, which has not been accomplished since 1994.

Analysts feel the economy is on track for the biggest gain in employment in almost 10 years and because of this, the rate of unemployment sank a six-year low in October of 5.8%. However, even with more hiring, healing within the labor market is still needed.

As reported, there are still 18.2 million people in the United States who say they cannot find full-time work, which is extremely high considering being the five-year economic recovery period. In addition to this, wages are not going up much faster than the annual increase in inflation.

Also noteworthy is that the Labor Department stated continuing unemployment claims increased by 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2.39 million just one week prior to the current report. These claims are reflective of the number of people currently receiving unemployment benefits.

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