Initial Jobless Claims Rise Nearly 2.1%

Initial jobless claims bumped up nearly 2.1% to 343,000 for the week ending July 20, according to a Labor Department report released today.

After falling a revised 6.1% the previous week, this newest report clocked in 2,000 claims higher than analysts' expectations.

Source: Author, data from Labor Department. 

From a more long-term perspective, a 0.4% drop in the four-week moving average to 345,250 initial claims marks a second week's trending decrease. Both the latest week's claims and the four-week average fall significantly below 400,000, a cutoff point that economists consider a sign of an improving labor market.

On a state-by-state basis, six states recorded a decrease of more than 1,000 initial claims for the week ending July 13 (most recent available data). Michigan's number fell a dramatic 11,970 due primarily to fewer manufacturing layoffs, while New York and New Jersey both listed fewer education layoffs as a main reason for their respective 4,740- and 4,480-initial-claim drops. 

For the same period, 14 states registered increases of more than 1,000 initial claims. Georgia led the push, with 7,030 more claims due primarily to manufacturing layoffs. Retail trade layoffs helped California add on 6,800, while Texas offered no comment for its 6,000-initial-claim increase.

Weekly applications data can be volatile in July. Automakers typically shut their factories the first two weeks of the month to prepare for new models, leading to temporary layoffs. But this year much of the industry has skipped or shortened the shutdowns to meet stronger demand.

More than 4.8 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits the week that ended July 6, the latest data available. That is down nearly 20% from 6 million a year earlier.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

 

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 25, 2013, at 9:34 PM, roger142 wrote:

    I live in Ga and wish they would give some detail to specific layoffs. I know several small towns lately have seen various corporations shut down smaller operations.

    Its bad enough when a big city loses a few hundred or thousand manufacturing jobs, but for these small towns, losing 20 or 30 good jobs really effects their local economy..

  • Report this Comment On July 25, 2013, at 11:14 PM, BilFoxsoapbox wrote:

    We don't need no stinkin' jobs - we got Obama phones and food stamps and my man Julio steals my neighbor's cable signal - it's all good maaannn.

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