jobless claims rise but still close to 14-year low
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[November 13, 2014]
WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new
claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, yet
it remained near a 14-year low in a reminder that one small part of the
labor market has returned to full health.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 12,000 to
290,000 for the week ended Nov. 8, the Labor Department said on
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims increasing to
280,000 last week. Claims have now been below the 300,000 threshold
for nine straight weeks, and in October hit their lowest level since
2000 at 266,000.
Together with a separate survey of employers that tracks job
openings, the claims data suggests firms are well past a cycle of
elevated lay-offs that began in the 2007-09 recession.
Still, even as claims have fallen, the pace of hiring has been
remarkably steady in recent years and has averaged about 200,000 a
month, although job creation appears to have accelerated slightly
Also, while workers are no longer being laid off at high rates, they
still appear to lack confidence in the labor market and are thus
wary to quit their jobs. The share of workers with jobs who quit has
held steady most of this year, and remains well below where it was
at the start of the recession.
Analysts think this is one reason behind stagnant wage growth, which
is arguably the biggest unresolved matter in America's labor market
recovery. The Labor Department is due to release September data on
the rates of job turnover - including the quits rate - later on
In the claims data, the four-week moving average of claims,
considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out
week-to-week volatility, rose 6,000 to 285,000.
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The Labor Department said there were no special factors influencing
last week's claims data.
The Federal Reserve last month gave an upbeat view of the labor
market, dropping its characterization of labor market slack as
"significant" and replacing it with "gradually diminishing."
The claims report showed the number of people still receiving
benefits after an initial week of aid rose 36,000 to 2.39 million in
the week ended Nov. 1. The unemployment rate for people receiving
jobless benefits was at 1.8 percent for a ninth straight week.
((Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci) ((firstname.lastname@example.org;
202 310 5487; Twitter @langejason; Reuters Messaging:)
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