Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Jobless claims jump to 3-month high

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The number of Americans filing for initial unemployment insurance jumped last week to the highest level in 3 months, the government said Thursday.

There were 479,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended July 31, up 19,000 from a upwardly revised 460,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said. The weekly figure is the highest since the week ended April 10, when 480,000 initial claims were filed.

The number of claims was higher than the 455,000 claims expected in a consensus estimate of economists surveyed by Briefing.com.

The 4-week moving average of initial claims, which is calculated to smooth out volatility, was 458,500, up 5,250 from the previous week's upwardly revised average of 453,250.

"The job market is pretty muted," said Doug Roberts, chief investment strategist at Channel Capital Research. "It's not getting much worse, but it's not getting any better either."

Roberts said the monthly employment report will provide a clearer picture of trends in the labor market, but it's clear that a long road still lies ahead of a jobs recovery.

"The government has been driving the improvements we've seen in unemployment so far, so as soon as it stops spending, we'll be back to where we were before," Roberts said.

As census jobs and the stimulus continue to fade, Roberts said jobless claims will increase.

Continuing claims: The government said 4,537,000 people filed continuing claims in the week ended July 24, the most recent data available. That's down 34,000 from the preceding week's upwardly revised 4,571,000 claims.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com were looking for 4,530,000 ongoing claims.

The 4-week moving average for ongoing claims climbed by 25,750 to 4,575,500 from the preceding week's upwardly revised 4,549,750.

State by state: Jobless claims in 19 states declined by more than 1,000 in the week ended July 24, the most recent state data available. Claims in California dropped the most, by 19,107, which the state attributed to fewer layoffs in the service industries.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,204.97 -211.61 -1.29%
Nasdaq 4,363.14 -146.41 -3.25%
S&P 500 1,880.05 -35.40 -1.85%
Treasuries 1.85 -0.02 -0.86%
Data as of 10:36am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 12.95 -0.30 -2.26%
Facebook Inc 104.07 -6.42 -5.81%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 5.68 -0.04 -0.70%
Microsoft Corp 50.16 -1.84 -3.54%
General Electric Co 28.54 -0.64 -2.19%
Data as of Feb 5
Sponsors

Sections

Anheuser-Busch has been the exclusive beer advertiser featured during the Super Bowl since 1975, and it's spent more on Super Bowl advertising than any other company for the last five years in a row. More

The economy is better than it was, but not even President Obama is ready to declare it's booming. More

Laurie Segall sits down with Foursquare's new CEO Jeff Glueck to discuss the company's latest round of funding at a lower valuation, and their hybrid consumer/enterprise business model. More

Nonprofit JumpStart has launched a new $10M fund that will only invest in women and minority-led startups. The catch: You have to move to Ohio. More

Portland, Oregon, is often described as the last affordable cool city on the West Coast. But as more people move to the city, it's becoming increasingly unaffordable. More