Jobless claims data points to pickup in job gains in August

WASHINGTON Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:40am EDT

A job seeker (C) talks to an exhibitor at the Colorado Hospital Association health care career fair in Denver April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

A job seeker (C) talks to an exhibitor at the Colorado Hospital Association health care career fair in Denver April 9, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell as expected last week, suggesting a strengthening in job gains in August after a slight pullback the prior month.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 331,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to fall to 332,000 last week.

A Labor Department analyst said no states had been estimated and there was nothing unusual in the state-level data.

The four-week moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, ticked up 750 to 331,250, still holding at a level economists associate with a strengthening labor market.

Initial claims have not strayed too far from the 330,000 level since mid-July, bolstering expectations of an acceleration in the pace of employment gains in August.

Hiring moderated a bit in July and a pickup this month could cement expectations the Federal Reserve will announce a scaling back of its monthly $85 billion bond-buying program at its September 17-18 policy meeting. It has been making the monthly purchases to hold down interest rates.

The U.S. central bank has said it plans to start tapering the purchases later this year, but would be guided by economic data. July data on home building, industrial production and durable goods orders have missed market expectations, which economists say would only affect the size of cutbacks.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid fell 14,000 to 2.99 million in the week ended August 17.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
JoeMam007 wrote:
Looks like all the MAJOR media outlets just copy and paste numbers given to them.

Look around you, where are the jobs? working at McDonalds or Walmart do not count. People that have stopped looking for jobs should count as unemployed. What are we exporting? Grains(mega corporations) or military weapons?

The numbers given are from a very high level that don’t relate to REGULAR middle class Americans. Averaging the income of hundreds of thousands of people making $22k/yr with that of bankers making $300million/yr. is not a fair and real comparison.

Rueters – please do some analysis and STOP just copy and pasting stories.

Aug 29, 2013 10:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JoeMam007 wrote:
Looks like all the MAJOR media outlets just copy and paste numbers given to them.

Look around you, where are the jobs? working at McDonalds or Walmart do not count. People that have stopped looking for jobs should count as unemployed. What are we exporting? Grains(mega corporations) or military weapons?

The numbers given are from a very high level that don’t relate to REGULAR middle class Americans. Averaging the income of hundreds of thousands of people making $22k/yr with that of bankers making $300million/yr. is not a fair and real comparison.

Rueters – please do some analysis and STOP just copy and pasting stories.

Aug 29, 2013 10:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JoeMam007 wrote:
Look around you america- do you see prosperity?
How many NEW jobs do you see around that will lift you into the middle class?

College grads, how many GOOD paying jobs do you see?

The numbers being thrown around by reuters are just that numbers that have NO meaning to 99% of the American people.

These numbers are for bankers and investors. For the rest of us, this article is MEANINGLESS.

No go get a good job at McDonalds , Walmart or TacoBell………..

Aug 29, 2013 11:23am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.