Meridian Star

Breaking News

New Today

October 11, 2013

US jobless claims jump to 374,000 due to backlog

WASHINGTON —

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits jumped by 66,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 374,000. But the spike was largely because California processed a huge backlog of claims and the partial government shutdown prompted some companies to cut jobs.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average rose 20,000 to 325,000. The sharp increase in both the weekly figures and the four-week average comes after applications hovered near a 6-year low the previous week.

A government spokesman said that about half the weekly increase occurred in California, where officials processed applications that were delayed several weeks by a computer upgrade. One-quarter of the increase reflected applications from employees at government contractors and other workers affected by the shutdown.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. Before last week, they had declined steadily over the past three months. That's a sign companies are cutting fewer workers.

"The broader picture is still that labor market conditions are improving, albeit not quite as much as we previously thought," Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Federal workers temporarily laid off by the shutdown may also file for benefits. But their numbers are reported separately and published a week later than the other applications.

Lockheed Martin said Monday that it is furloughing about 2,400 employees. That's lower than the 3,000 employees the company initially said it would furlough because Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has recalled most of the Pentagon's civilian employees to work.

Falling applications are typically followed by more hiring. But there aren't any signs that that has happened yet. Instead, job gains have slowed in recent months.

It's not clear if hiring trends changed last month. The government was unable to issue the September employment report because of the shutdown.

Text Only
New Today
Biz Marquee
New Today
Poll

Mississippi could borrow $20 million to help Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. update its factory in Tupelo. In return the company would pledge to maintain at least 1,300 jobs and invest $140 million in the plant. Do you think this is a good investment on the state's part?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide