New unemployment claims persist above 400,000

@CNNMoney October 20, 2011: 9:22 AM ET
New claims for unemployment benefits persist above 400,000

Job seekers wait in line to meet with recruiters at a job fair in Illinois last month.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- New claims for unemployment benefits are persisting above the key 400,000 threshold, thwarting hopes for a thaw in the jobs market.

About 403,000 Americans filed for their first week of unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday.

While that's a slight drop from a revised 409,000 initial claims filed the week before, it still marks little improvement in the job market over the last six months.

Economists described the numbers as "thin gruel," "not great" and "painfully slow improvement."

The unemployment rate has remained at 9.1% since July, and without a bigger drop in claims, there's little reason to hope for much improvement. Economists often look to see initial claims fall below 400,000, to signal a lower unemployment rate, but claims have been stuck at around or above that level since April.

Meanwhile, 3.7 million people filed for an additional week of benefits in the week ended Oct. 8, the most recent data available. That's 25,000 more than in the week before.

State by state: North Carolina reported the largest increase in initial jobless claims, totalling 3,354 for the week ended Oct. 8, the most recent data available. Layoffs in the construction, transportation and warehousing industries were to blame.

California reported 2,527 new claims due to layoffs in services, as well as fishing, agriculture and forestry.

In contrast, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida reported fewer initial unemployment claims, due to a decline in layoffs. To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.99%4.00%
15 yr fixed3.06%3.10%
5/1 ARM3.20%3.19%
30 yr refi3.99%4.08%
15 yr refi3.07%3.18%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Economic Calendar
Latest ReportNext Update
Home pricesAug 28
Consumer confidenceAug 28
GDPAug 29
Manufacturing (ISM)Sept 4
JobsSept 7
Inflation (CPI)Sept 14
Retail sales Sept 14
CNNMoney Sponsors

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.