New US Jobless Claims Higher Than Expected

We know that a return to “normal” employment levels lags behind overall growth as an economy recovers, but the worrying point is that US unemployment continues to grow. Last week, the number of new unemployment claims was higher than expected, coming in at a seasonally-adjusted 551,000 compared to 534,000 the week before. Hold on for Non-Farm Payroll and Unemployment reports due tomorrow morning.

First-time claims for jobless benefits increased more than expected last week, a sign employers are reluctant to hire and the job market remains weak.

And while consumer spending jumped by the most in nearly eight years in August due partly to the government’s Cash for Clunkers program, economists worry whether that rebound can be sustained with U.S. households facing rising unemployment, tight credit conditions and other obstacles.

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to a seasonally adjusted 551,000 from 534,000 in the previous week. Wall Street economists expected an increase of 5,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

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