Continuing jobless claims set record

The number of Americans who applied for first-time unemployment benefits holds at 627,000.

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 Catherine Clifford, CNNMoney.com staff writer

Which government rescue program will help the most people?
  • Housing
  • Stimulus
  • Autos
  • Banks

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The number of Americans continuing to file for unemployment benefits has hit a record high, according to a government report released Thursday.

The number of workers receiving unemployment checks for one week or more rose to a record 4,987,000 in the week ended Feb. 7, the most recent data available. That tops the previous week's revised level of 4,817,000.

The Labor Department has been keeping records since 1967.

The record high level of continuing claims was "troubling," according to Adam York, economic analyst at Wachovia.

"When people are losing their jobs, they are not finding new ones quickly," said York.

The 4-week moving average for continuing claims was 4,839,500, an increase of 92,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 4,747,000.

Initial claims: For the week ended Feb. 14, 627,000 Americans filed initial jobless claims, unchanged from the revised level of the previous week.

Economists polled by Briefing.com were expecting 620,000 claims for the most recent week. Two weeks prior, the 631,000 claims reported was the highest level since October 1982.

"Job losses are persistent at this point, but the good news is that they are not worsening," said York.

The 4-week moving average of initial jobless claims was 619,000, an increase of 10,500 from a revised 608,500 in the previous week.

York said the level of continuing claims could remain elevated even after the initial claims number starts to ease.

"Continuing claims is affected both by how many people are getting laid off and how quickly they are exiting the unemployment rolls," he explained.

Stimulus to the rescue: The stimulus bill that President Obama signed into law has several provisions that help those living on unemployment benefits.

The weekly unemployment benefit will temporarily increase by $25 on top of the roughly $300 jobless workers currently receive. In addition, the first $2,400 of benefits in 2009 would be exempt from federal income taxes.

Additionally, the bill provides jobless workers with an additional 20 weeks in unemployment benefits, and 13 weeks on top of that if they live in what's deemed a high unemployment state. 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
These 10 food trends could dominate 2015 So long, kale. Here's what's expected to shake up the food industry next year. More
Beyond Russia: Geopolitical hot spots in 2015 Investors beware: These 5 global crises are likely to rattle the stock market and world economy. More
These 20 antique guns could fetch big bucks Morphy Auctions in Pennsylvania is putting nearly 1,000 old guns on the block. Here are just a few. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.