Jobless Claims in U.S. Rose 35,000 Last Week to 445,000
The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments jumped in the first week of 2011 to the highest level since October as more Americans lined up to file following the holidays.
Initial jobless claims rose by 35,000 to 445,000, according to Labor Department data released today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey called for 410,000 filings. The average number of applications over the past four weeks, a less-volatile gauge, increased to 416,500.
Today’s figures follow a report last week showing the U.S. added fewer jobs than forecast in December, underscoring the concern of Federal Reserve policy makers about the labor market. Economic growth may need to accelerate further and encourage companies to ramp up the hiring necessary to reduce the unemployment rate.
“The underlying trend is still a slow decline in claims,” said Lindsey Piegza, an economist at FTN Financial in New York. “We’re taking steps in the right direction though it’s not enough to move the unemployment rate down precipitously.”
Doesn't it feel like a huge problem of our times is swept under the rug?