Jobless claims fall - remain high

The number of people filing first-time unemployment claims slips to 554,000, the Labor Department says.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Kenneth Musante, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, according to a government report released Thursday. However the ranks of the jobless continued to swell.

The Labor Department said that initial filings for state jobless benefits fell to 554,000 for the week ended Dec. 13. That was a decline of 21,000 from the 26-year high of a revised 575,000 claims a week earlier.

A week ago, the government reported the highest number of jobless claims since Nov. 27, 1982 when initial filings hit 612,000.

Economists were expecting jobless claims slip to 558,000, according to a poll by Briefing.com.

But the reduction in filers "really was not enough to offset the significant gain we saw after the Thanksgiving holiday," said Andrew Gledhill, economist with Moody's Economy.com.

Over the past four weeks, new unemployment claims have risen to an average of 543,750 a week, up 2,750 from the moving average of 541,000 reported last week.

The number of people continuing to collect unemployment declined to 4.38 million in the week ended Dec. 6, the most recent data available. The measure was a decrease of 47,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4.31 million

Over the previous four weeks the number of people on unemployment averaged 4.23 million a week, the government said.

The rash of unemployment claims shows no sign of slackening, according to Gledhill, and may hit the retail sector particularly hard as consumers reign in spending.

"Consumers are going to continue to find ways to cut spending any way they can," he said.

The number of new jobless claims rose the most in Tennessee, rising by 12,170 due to layoffs in the manufacturing industry, the Labor Department said.

Wisconsin saw jobless claims fall the most, by 8,593, due to fewer layoffs in the construction, manufacturing and service industries. To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
10 things I learned at the New York auto show Auto shows these days are about as relevant as a dashboard cigarette lighter. But a careful observer can still pick up a thing or two. More
Rebirth of America's dead factories Defunct factories around the country are in high demand as U.S. production once again revs up. More
50 years of the Ford Mustang Take a drive down memory lane with our favorite photos of the car through the years. More
Sponsors

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.