Unemployment filings jump back up

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Initial filings for unemployment insurance ticked up in the latest week, but continued to hover in the same range they have been since November, the government reported Thursday.

The number of first-time filers for unemployment benefits rose to 465,000 in the week ended Sept. 18, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The number was higher than economists' forecasts of 450,000 for the week, according to consensus estimates by Briefing.com. It also marked an increase from the upwardly revised 453,000 initial claims filed in the previous week, which was shortened by Labor Day.

Both this week's higher figure, and the upward revision to last week's number disappointed investors, driving stock futures lower in pre-market trading.

"It's a problematic level and really inconsistent with any meaningful job growth," said Mark Vitner, senior economist with Wells Fargo. "It raises the risk that the unemployment rate is going to move back toward 10% toward the end of the year."

Initial claims had declined in the two prior weeks, giving investors some hope for the job market. But overall, the weekly number has made little progress since November, hovering in the mid to upper 400,000s and even ticking slightly above 500,000 in mid-August.

As unemployment figures remain one of the defining measures of the recovery, economists say they're looking for weekly initial claims to trend below the current range before they're entirely optimistic about the economy.

"Companies are still focusing more on cutting costs than they are on growing their business, and that's really what has not changed," Vitner said. "Businesses have been unwilling to take on any risks, and hiring a worker is taking on risk."

The four-week moving average of initial claims, calculated to smooth out volatility, totaled 463,250, down 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 466,500.

Continuing claims: The number of people continuing to file unemployment claims for a second week or more fell to 4,489,000 during the week ended Sept. 11, the most recent data available.

That's down 48,000 from an upwardly revised 4,537,000 the week before. Economists were expecting continuing claims to edge down to 4,450,000.

The four-week moving average for ongoing claims rose by 2,500 to 4,537,000.

Earlier this month, the government's closely watched monthly jobs report showed that the economy cut payrolls by 54,000 jobs in August. The national unemployment rate stood at 9.6%.

Did you get a factory job? Have you recently been hired in the manufacturing industry? Tell us about it and you could be featured in an upcoming story on CNNMoney.com. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,563.30 -317.06 -1.88%
Nasdaq 4,369.77 -93.13 -2.09%
S&P 500 1,930.67 -39.40 -2.00%
Treasuries 2.56 0.00 0.08%
Data as of 12:36am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.25 -0.33 -2.12%
Micron Technology In... 30.55 -1.98 -6.09%
Apple Inc 95.60 -2.55 -2.60%
Facebook Inc 72.65 -2.03 -2.71%
Pfizer Inc 28.70 -0.56 -1.91%
Data as of Jul 31

Sections

Malaysia Airlines was in major trouble even before the twin disasters of Flight 370 and Flight 17 claimed the lives of 537 people. More

With RadioShack burning through cash, investors and credit rating agencies believe its days are numbered. More

LinkedIn shares surged in after-hours trading Thursday following strong second-quarter earnings, following the likes of Facebook and Twitter. More

Terrell White has had a profit-sharing plan for his employees since 1981, believing that if the staff isn't happy, guests won't be either. More

The Mason family, which has been struggling to pay the $100,000 student loan bill they were left with when their daughter passed away five years ago, is now seeing an outpouring of support. More

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.