Jobless claims climb by 35,000

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The number of Americans filing for their first week of unemployment benefits jumped sharply last week, two weeks after hitting a 2-1/2 year low below 400,000.

There were 445,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended Jan. 8, the Labor Department said in a weekly report Thursday.

That's up 35,000 from a revised 410,000 the previous week -- when jobless claims climbed back above 400,000 after falling below that mark for the first time in more than two years.

Last week's rise was bigger than expected. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast initial claims to edge up to 415,000 in the latest report.

"Looking at the weekly numbers is like looking at the stock market on a day-to-day basis, you can expect a few ups and downs without a real reason," said Peter Maris, founder and principal at Resource Financial Group. "But the trend is still that jobless claims are stabilizing and the jobs picture is gradually getting better."

Maris said the labor market will continue to be slow to recover as employers remain cautious about hiring -- even though they have the money.

"Jobs are being posted but many employers just don't seem to be filling the jobs -- they are being cautious and either being too picky or waiting to see what the government is going to do on certain issues," said Maris.

"I think there will be a sharp decline [in jobless claims] as soon as the government comes out with tax incentives and does something to help small businesses," he added.

The 4-week moving average -- a figure that tries to smooth out week-to-week volatility -- remained encouraging, edging up 5,500 to 416,500 from the previous week's revised average of 411,000.

Continuing claims: The government said 3,879,000 people filed continuing claims in the week ended Jan. 1, the most recent data available. That was down 248,000 from the preceding week's revised 4,127,000 claims.

Ongoing claims reflect people who are filing for their second week or more, until their standard benefits run out -- usually after 26 weeks. Economists expected claims to ease to 4,080,000 in the latest week.

The 4-week moving average for continuing claims was 4,056,500, a decline of 72,000 from the preceding week's revised average of 4,128,500. 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 17,806.21 87.21 0.49%
Nasdaq 4,715.79 13.92 0.30%
S&P 500 2,061.83 9.08 0.44%
Treasuries 2.32 -0.02 -0.77%
Data as of 2:01pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Intel Corp 35.58 -0.37 -1.02%
Bank of America Corp... 17.14 0.14 0.82%
Apple Inc 116.26 -0.05 -0.04%
Kinder Morgan Inc 39.97 0.05 0.13%
Microsoft Corp 47.68 -1.02 -2.09%
Data as of 1:46pm ET

Sections

CNN and 7 other channels owned by Turner Broadcasting are back on the Dish Network's channel lineup ? for now ? after a month-long blackout. More

A CNNMoney analysis finds some states like California have a lot of workers stuck in part-time jobs. More

Founder of Square Jack Dorsey discusses the international launch of the Square Register software, their partnership with Snapchat, and how Square could work with Apple Pay. More

President Obama addressed some visa reforms for high-skilled, legal immigrants -- but experts say comprehensive reform is still necessary for the U.S. to stay competitive. More

Billionaires are on a buying spree in New York, with sales of multimillion dollar properties up 120% so far this year, according to CityRealty. And the prices are expected to keep climbing next year. 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.