Thursday, August 20, 2009
WASHINGTON â€” New claims for US unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly for the second consecutive week, the government said Thursday, raising concerns that soaring jobless numbers could stifle recovery from prolonged recession.
The Labor Department said that initial jobless claims increased by 15,000 to 576,000 in the week to August 15, which happens to be the survey week for the monthly non-farm payrolls report, seen as one of the best indicators of economic momentum.
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Most analysts had expected initial claims to fall to 550,000 in the past week — the previous week’s revised figure was 561,000 — amid increasing signs that the recession since December 2007 was easing.
The four-week moving average, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, was 570,000, an increase of 4,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 565,750, the department said.
This article was posted: Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 10:27 am