More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, reflecting an unwinding of adjustments for seasonal swings at the start of a quarter.
Jobless claims increased by 46,000 to 388,000 in the week ended Oct. 13 from a revised 342,000 the prior period that was the lowest since February 2008, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a rise in claims to 365,000.
The typical pattern of large increases in unadjusted claims at the start of the quarter seems to have shifted by a week in one state, causing the adjusted data to become volatile, a Labor Department spokesman said as the figures were released to the press. Through the ups and downs, the level of firing has been little changed, indicating that a lack of hiring is the main reason payrolls have failed to strengthen.
â€œAt least a major part of the jump would be a correction from the prior week,â€ Tom Simons, an economist at Jefferies Group Inc. in New York, who projected a jump to 380,000, said before the report. Outside of that, â€œweâ€™re seeing very gradual improvement in the labor market. The economy is just plodding along at the moment.â€
Stock-index futures extended earlier losses after the report. The contract on the Standard & Poorâ€™s 500 Index maturing in December dropped 0.2 percent to 1,454 at 8:33 a.m. in New York.
This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.