NEW YORK (CNNfn) - New jobless claims in the United States increased sharply last week, coming in well above expectations to signal continued economic weakness.|
New claims for state unemployment benefits rose to 431,000 in the week ended Sept. 8 from a revised 410,000 the prior week, the Labor Department reported. Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com had† forecast new claims of 405,000.††
The four-week moving average of new claims, considered a better gauge of jobless trends, fell to 411,000 from the previous period's revised 399,500. Economists watch the four-week moving average more closely since it smoothes fluctuations in the weekly data.
Continued claims -- those by workers who already have claimed at least a week of benefits -- rose to 3.36 million in the week ended Sept. 1, the latest data available, and the highest since 3.45 million in the week ended Aug.1, after a revised reading of 3.19 million the prior week.
The Labor Department said the latest week's data collection was not affected by the terrorist attacks Tuesday in New York and Washington D.C.
--from staff and wire reports