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Jobless claims jumped last week, adding more fuel for Fed action

September 13, 2012|By Jim Puzzanghera
  • Job applicant Monika Fogar, 18, waits in line Wednesday for an interview during a hiring fair for the renovated West Los Angeles Orchard Supply Hardware store.
Job applicant Monika Fogar, 18, waits in line Wednesday for an interview… (Patrick Fallon / Bloomberg )

WASHINGTON -- Initial claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week to the highest level since mid-July, another sign of the struggling recovery that could provide more impetus for the Federal Reserve to launch a new round of economic stimulus.

Jobless claims increased to 382,000, up 15,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 367,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The figure was above economists' projections of about 370,000.

It was the highest level since the week ending July 14, when 388,000 people filed new claims for unemployment benefits.

The weekly figures, although seasonally adjusted, can be volatile. But the more stable four-week moving average was 375,000, up 3,250 from last week, and well above the 350,000 level that economists said is consistent with strong job growth.

Coming on the heels of the disappointing August jobs report, the weekly jobless claims figures add fuel to the expectations that the Fed will announce another bond-buying program today.

The Fed is expected to announce such a move at 12:30 p.m. EDT, 9:30 a.m. PDT, at the conclusion of the two-day meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee.

US Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Chart

US Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance data by YCharts

ALSO:

U.S. income gap between rich, poor hits new high

All eyes on Fed, Bernanke as stimulus announcement expected

U.S. adds disappointing 96,000 jobs; August unemployment rate at 8.1%

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