Jobless claims edge up, pressuring anemic housing market
Unemployment claims grew by 2,000 filings in the week ending Sept. 3, with the total number of new unemployment filings reaching 414,000, up from the previous week's revised figure of 412,000 claims. Meanwhile, the four-week moving average hit 414,750 new filings, an increase of 3,750 from the previous week's revised average of 411,000. The weekly increase in new unemployment claims is another dose of bad news for the stock market, which remains volatile in the wake of struggling home sales and weakening consumer confidence. It's also a disappointment compared to last week when the Labor Department found jobless claims fell about 3%. Analysts with Econoday said the report highlights an ongoing struggle in the labor market. "The steady rate of jobless claims does not point to optimism among employers which, also based on payroll data, remain reluctant to expand their workforces," Econoday said Thursday. "The Labor Department said Hurricane Irene did not affect the data though it does expect a small 2,000 to 5,000 upward revision for the September 3 week," Econoday said. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.