Jobless claims rise, topping 460,000

By Charles Riley, staff reporter

NEW YORK ( -- The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose last week, according to a government report released Thursday.

There were 462,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended Oct. 9, up 13,000 from an upwardly revised 449,000 the previous week, according to the Labor Department's weekly report.

Economists surveyed by were expecting 450,000 new claims.

The weekly figure has been stuck in a tight range since last November, hovering in the mid- to upper-400,000 range, and even ticking slightly above 500,000 in mid-August.

The 4-week moving average of initial claims -- a number that tries to smooth out week-to-week volatility -- was 459,000. This number is up 2,250 from the previous week.

While not a eye-popping number, Robert Dye, a senior economist at PNC Financial Services, says it is more evidence that the job market remains hobbled.

"Claims are going in the wrong direction again, but it's a one week move after several weeks of improvements," he said. According to Dye, smoother sailing should be ahead as the last of the temporary workers hired by the Census work through the system.

Continuing claims: The government said 4.399 million people continued to file unemployment claims for their second week or more, during the week ended Oct. 2, the most recent data available. That's down 112,000 from an upwardly revised 4.511 million the week before.

Economists were expecting 4.450 million people to file ongoing claims.

The 4-week moving average for ongoing claims fell by 34,500 to 4.488 million.

Continuing claims reflect people who file each week after their initial claim until the end of their standard benefits, which usually last 26 weeks. The figures do not include those who have moved to state or federal extensions, or people who have exhausted their benefits but are still out of a job.

State-by-state: Jobless claims in two states declined by more than 1,000 in the week ended Oct. 2, which is the most recent state data available. Claims in California dropped the most, by 6,131. The state attributed the drop to fewer layoffs in the trade and service industries.

Claims jumped by more than 1,000 in three states. They rose the most in Pennsylvania, by 2,869, due to layoffs in layoffs in the rubber/plastics, food, construction, and service industries. To top of page

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