Jobless Claims Starting to Pick Back Up

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The U.S. Department of Labor Wednesday morning released its reading on weekly jobless claims, which rose by 3,000 to 224,000. The prior week’s reading was revised up 5,000 to 221,000.

This number used to run closer to and even above 300,000, but that’s becoming ancient history at a time when unemployment sits around 4% and there are more job openings than there are belly buttons available to fill them.

Dow Jones was calling for 215,000 claims in the past week, and the trailing four-week average was up 2,000 to 218,500 claims.

The continuing jobless claims, the army of the persistently unemployed, which is reported with a one-week lag, fell by 2,000 to 1,668,000. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2% for the week ending November 10, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate.

Also shown was that the total number of people who claimed benefits in all programs for the week ending November 3 was 1,462,361. That is higher by 44,958 from the previous week. There were 1,653,025 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2017.