Jobless Claims Tick Up Slightly, Factory Orders Drop
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits for the first time increased slightly last week, after a big drop the week before, demonstrating once again that the job market is still recovering. The figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 367,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 363,000, the U.S. Labor Department said.
Applications for unemployment benefits measures the pace of layoffs. Economists suggests that when they fall consistently below 375,000, it implies that hiring is strong enough to lower the jobless rate. The 4-week moving average was 375, 000, unchanged from the previous week’s revised average, the Labor Department also reported.
Other data on Thursday showed a drop in new orders for factory goods, although orders outside the transportation sector rose for a second consecutive month, the nytimes.com reported.
“The economy is obviously feeling the strain from cooler global conditions and the policy uncertainty that continues to overhang us here as we turn the corner on 2012 and into 2013,” said Robert A. Dye, chief economist at Comerica in Dallas, according to the paper.