More Bad Economic News: Weekly Jobs Claims Climbs to 500,000
More bad economic news — signs of an ailing recovery which has sparked speculation about what kind of recovery is it and whether the patient is heading towards a relapse:
New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to a nine-month high last week, yet another setback to the frail economic recovery.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 500,000 in the week ended August 14, the highest since mid-November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims slipping to 476,000 from the previously reported 484,000 the prior week, which was revised up to 488,000 in Thursday’s report.
A Labor Department official said there was nothing unusual in the state level data. The data covered the survey week for the government’s closely watched employment report for August, scheduled for release early next month.
“There are some technical factors out there and the seasonal factors seem to be pushing it up a little bit. But given the trend of claims it looks like the economy ran into a wall in August,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-MitsubishI UFJ in New York.
U.S. stock index futures turned negative after the report, while Treasury debt prices pared losses. The dollar fell against the yen.