Unemployment Claims Post Largest Increase in Nearly Two Years

April 25, 2019 by Dan McCue

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits saw their largest increase in 19 months last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits jumped 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended April 20, the department said.

“Jobless claims continue to point to tight labor market conditions,” said Bloomberg economist Eliza Winger in an analyst’s note. “The number of workers filing new applications for unemployment increased more than expected, but it is not unusual to see some volatility in the week before or after the Easter holiday. Jobless claims will likely revert back to the pre-holiday trend.”

The instability around Easter and Passover is often attributed to school closures around those holidays. The same goes for spring break. In some states school employees are eligible for unemployment benefits if they aren’t being paid during the week.

The increase was the largest since early September 2017, and it seemed to surprise economists who had predicted claims rising to only 200,000 last week.

Only a week before claims had dropped to 193,000, which was the lowest level since September 1969.

The 4-week moving average was 206,000, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 201,250 to 201,500.

Despite the volatility, the labor market remains strong. Job gains averaged 180,000 in the first quarter, well above the roughly 100,000 jobs per month needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

The unemployment rate is currently 3.8 percent, close to the 3.7 percent Federal Reserve officials project it will be by the end of the year.

Economy

Wall Street May Get $40 billion Reprieve From Trump Regulators Business
Wall Street May Get $40 billion Reprieve From Trump Regulators

WASHINGTON — Wall Street could soon get one of its most consequential wins of the Trump era as regulators are considering ripping up a rule that’s forced banks to set aside billions of dollars for swaps trades, according to people familiar with the matter. At issue... Read More

Saudi Attacks Reveal Oil Supply Fragility in Asymmetric War Geopolitics
Saudi Attacks Reveal Oil Supply Fragility in Asymmetric War

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The latest and most destructive attacks on Saudi oil facilities provide stark evidence of the vulnerability of global crude supply in an age of disruptive technologies that can bring a century-old industry to its knees — at least temporarily. From remote-controlled... Read More

46,000 UAW Workers Strike At GM Plants Nationwide Business
46,000 UAW Workers Strike At GM Plants Nationwide

DETROIT — Members of the United Auto Workers went on strike at General Motors Co. plants nationwide at midnight Sunday night, sending 46,000 workers to picket lines in the union’s first walkout since the automaker emerged from taxpayer-funded bankruptcy a decade ago. The UAW on Sunday... Read More

White House Repeals Obama-Era Clean Water Rule Environment
White House Repeals Obama-Era Clean Water Rule
September 13, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced Thursday that it is repealing an  Obama-era clean water rule that had placed limits on polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands and other bodies of water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the repeal of the 2015... Read More

House Panel Told Broadband Policies Should Not Worsen Urban/Rural Divide Technology
House Panel Told Broadband Policies Should Not Worsen Urban/Rural Divide
September 11, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - A far-reaching broadband connectivity should not be dictated by the location of a home or business, but rather should foster economic growth and sustainable communities by being equally accessible by all. That was the overarching message delivered to the House Small Business Subcommittee on... Read More

House Votes to Ban Offshore Drilling, Throwing Down Gauntlet for Trump, GOP Environment
House Votes to Ban Offshore Drilling, Throwing Down Gauntlet for Trump, GOP
September 11, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., couldn't be happier that the House Wednesday passed a pair of bills blocking offshore oil drilling in almost all waters around the United States. But in an interview with The Well News, he acknowledged that the real work lies ahead... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top