Home > Finance and Economics > Unemployment claims at 452,000 last week

Unemployment claims at 452,000 last week

Hot off the presses:

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week to a level that’s consistent with little improvement in the labor market.

Initial jobless claims declined by 23,000 to 452,000 in the week ended Oct. 15, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The prior week’s figures were revised up by 13,000, to the highest level since late August.

The pace of firings has persisted since the start of the year, indicating it will take longer to reduce an unemployment rate that’s near a 26-year high. A Federal Reserve report yesterday showed the economy is growing at a “modest pace” with companies still hesitant to hire, a reason central bankers may ease monetary policy.

Claims are “still consistent with a sluggish labor market,” said Jonathan Basile, an economist at Credit Suisse in New York. “We’ve been stuck in a range for most of the year. It doesn’t tell you that the layoff trend has improved dramatically this year.

Any number over 450,000 will not get the unemployment rate to decrease.  The trend over the past several months has been hovering around this mark or higher.  Bad news going into the new year.

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