February 26, 2024

Applications for Jobless Benefits Drop, Data Shows

Meanwhile, the index of leading economic indicators increased more than forecast in August, easing concern the economy was headed for recession.

The index showed that the outlook for the next three to six months climbed 0.3 percent after a 0.6 percent gain in July, according to the Conference Board, a New York-based research group that releases the report. Economists projected a 0.1 percent rise in August, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

Four of the 10 components of the leading index contributed to the increase in August. In addition to the money supply and building permits, they included slower supplier delivery times.

The rise in money supply could signal that investors might be losing confidence in the global economy and reducing their holdings of riskier assets.

A higher level of initial jobless claims raises the odds that American companies may put off plans to increase employment, making it difficult for joblessness to fall below 9 percent.

“These numbers are consistent with a job market that is essentially in suspended animation,” said Brian Jones, an economist at Société Générale in New York.

Estimates for first-time claims ranged from 408,000 to 430,000 in the Bloomberg survey of 45 economists. The Labor Department initially reported the previous week’s applications at 428,000.

The four-week moving average of initial jobless claims, a less-volatile measure, climbed to 421,000 from 420,500.

The number of people continuing to collect jobless benefits fell by 28,000 in the week ended Sept. 10 to 3.73 million. The continuing claims figure does not include the number of workers receiving extended benefits under federal programs.

Those who have used up their traditional benefits and are now collecting emergency and extended payments decreased by about 103,350 to 3.5 million in the week ended Sept. 3.

The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits, which tends to track the jobless rate, held at 3 percent in the week ended Sept. 10, the Labor Department report showed.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=7fa0280ea644d92bf69a94b4b049459e

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