Fewer than expected file for unemployment

Labor Department says first time jobless claims fell by 52,000 last week to 565,000. But continuing claims rose to another record high.

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 Ben Rooney, CNNMoney.com staff writer

Photos
Life on unemployment
6 readers tell their stories of making ends meet on $300 a week.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The number of Americans filing initial unemployment claims fell sharply last week, while those filing ongoing claims rose to another all-time high, according to government data released Thursday.

There were 565,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended July 4, down 52,000 from a revised 617,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said.

It was the lowest number since January and was below the consensus estimate of 603,000 from economists surveyed by Briefing.com.

Analysts said last week's drop was distorted by a change in the pattern of seasonal layoffs in the automotive industry.

Initial claims typically spike in July as automakers idle certain manufacturing plants, and the Labor Department adjusts its data for such seasonal factors.

However, many plant closures occurred early this year, said Mark Vitner, an economist at Wacovia Economics Group.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, initial claims were 577,506.

"The improvement in first week of July was exaggerated by the timing of plant closures," Vitner said. "This is something we're going to be dealing with throughout the month."

Meanwhile, the number of people requesting continued jobless benefits rose to a record high, indicating that the labor market remains weak.

The government said continuing claims rose to 6,883,000 in the week ended June 27, the most recent data available.

That's an increase of 159,000 from the previous week's revised total of 6,724,000 and was the highest reading since the Labor Department began keeping records in 1967.

The 4-week moving average of continuing claims rose 12,000 to 6,769,000.

The ongoing rise in continuing claims suggests that more workers are struggling to re-enter the work force.

"While layoffs have topped out, hiring has not picked up," Vitner said. "The increase in unemployment rate going forward will be more a result of lack of hiring rather than layoffs," he said.

Been to the mall lately? What has changed that you like or dislike? We want to hear about your experiences. E-mail your story to realstories@cnnmoney.com and you could be part of an upcoming article. For the CNNMoney.com Comment Policy, click here. 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
15 top executives with $1 salaries Some CEOs and founders agree to salaries of just $1 a year. But once goodies like bonuses and stock options are added in, some of those executives end up taking home many millions of dollars a year. More
Mercedes SL65 AMG: 621 horses of topless power Turn heads as you blow by traffic in this roadster convertible from Mercedes. More
Where the middle class is most unequal CNNMoney looks at the five states with the biggest differences in middle class incomes. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Market indexes 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. 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.