Initial Jobless Claims Rise Again

By John S. McClenahen The number of people putting in first claims for unemployment insurance reversed its recent decline and rose more than expected last week. Initial claims were 410,000 for the week ending Oct. 26, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 394,000, reports the U.S. Labor Department's Employment & Training Administration. However, last week's rise in initial claims was not large enough to reverse the course of the closely watched four-week moving average. It declined to 401,750, a decrease of 3,500 from the revised previous average of 405,250. "While still too high to stabilize the [U.S.] jobless rate, the sharp summer surge in claims seems to have leveled off," observes Maury Harris, chief U.S. economist at UBS Warburg LLC, New York. And the insured jobless rate looks to have settled down in the 2.8% to 2.9% range, he adds. "These data are roughly consistent with our expectation that payrolls were unchanged on October while the jobless rate climbed to 5.8%."

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