U.S.jobless claims rose sharply last week

08:29, January 28, 2011      

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The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid last week rose by 51,000 from the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.

The Labor Department said that the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits was 454,000 in the week ending Jan. 22, increasing from the prior week's revised figure of 403,000.

Analyst said that a major reason for the spike was the rare snowstorms that swept through the Southeast, which prevented many people from applying for benefits in the prior week. When state offices reopened and people were able to file applications that pushed the number of requests up sharply.

The four-week moving average, which more closely watched claims figure, increased to 428,750 from the previous week's revised average of 413,000.

Economists said that the number of jobless claims will have to fall to 375,000 or below to signal a sustained drop in the unemployment rate.

Though the number for jobless claims rose last week, many economists still consider that hiring will pick up this year.

The weekly figures of jobless benefits application reflect the level of layoffs and indicate the real-time condition of the American job market.

Source: Xinhua
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