posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 04:21 PM
More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, adding to concern the labor market is slackening.
Jobless claims decreased by 3,000 in the week ended Sept. 15 to 382,000, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of
49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected 375,000.
Looming tax increases and government spending cuts slated to take effect next year, should lawmakers fail to act, may block any pickup in hiring
following last month’s smaller-than-projected gain in payrolls. The Federal Reserve last week undertook a third round of asset purchases in a bid to
reduce joblessness that has held above 8 percent for more than three years.
“The problems are more on the hiring side than the layoffs side,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester,
Pennsylvania, who projected a rise to 385,000 claims. “If they panic and start cutting workers, that would raise an immediate red flag because
layoffs would be a recipe for another recession.”
Stock-index futures held earlier losses after the report. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in December fell 0.4 percent to
1,446.8 at 8:43 a.m. in New York as economic data from China to Japan and Europe increased concern a global slowdown is worsening.
More Americans Than Forecast Filed Jobless Claims By Michelle Jamrisko