July 14, 2024

Jobless Claims and Home Sales Reflect Slowdown in Economy

Claims for unemployment benefits increased 9,000, to 429,000, in the week ended June 18, Labor Department figures showed on Thursday.

Purchases of new homes dropped 2.1 percent in May to a 319,000 annual rate, figures from the Commerce Department and Census Bureau showed. The median price of new properties sold declined from a year earlier.

“Things are still going to be weak for a while,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James Associates in St. Petersburg, Fla. “We need to see much better job growth and more confidence in general,” he said, adding that new-home sales were “bouncing around the bottom.”

Estimates for first-time jobless claims ranged from 400,000 to 425,000 in the Bloomberg survey of 47 economists. The claims data coincided with the week the government surveyed employers for the monthly jobs report. The Labor Department will issue the June employment data on July 8.

The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure of initial claims, held at 426,250.

The number of people continuing to collect jobless benefits dropped by 1,000 in the week ended June 11, to 3.7 million. The 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 increased by about 68,000 to 3.95 million in the week ended June 4.

Initial jobless claims tend to fall as job growth accelerates. After improving at the beginning of the year, labor market conditions have deteriorated. Payrolls grew by 54,000 workers last month, the smallest gain in eight months, after increasing by 232,000 in April.

The jobless rate rose to 9.1 percent, the highest since December, from 9 percent.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=d672b78fdfb1b8b0e6062414581df3ae

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