Jobless claims rose 2% last week to 429,000
Initial jobless claims rose 2% last week, topping most estimates and remaining higher than 400,000 for the 11th straight week. The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted figure of actual initial claims for the week ended June 18 increased to 429,000 from 420,000 the previous week, which was revised upward by 6,000 claims. Analysts surveyed by Econoday expected 415,000 new jobless claims last week with a range of estimates between 410,000 and 425,000. A Bloomberg News survey produced a median estimate of 415,000 new filings last week. Most economists believe weekly claims lower than 400,000 indicate the economy is expanding and jobs growth is strengthening. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said conditions in the labor market are deteriorating further from already depressed levels. Chairman Ben Bernanke continues to label the slowdown in jobs as temporary, and the central bank expects unemployment to drop to 7.5% by the end of 2013. The rate has lingered around 9% since hitting 9.8% in November. The four-week moving average, which is considered a less volatile indicator than weekly claims, of 426,250 for last week remained flat with the prior week's revised figure, and the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate for the week ended June 11 also remained flat with the week before at 2.9%, according to the Labor Department. The total number of people receiving some sort of federal unemployment benefits for the week ended June 4 rose to about 7.54 million from 7.4 million the prior week. Write to Jason Philyaw.