Weekly Jobless Claims Increase … Again

Applications for jobless benefits increased 4,000 for the week ending January 5, bringing the total to 371,000, up from last week’s revised figure of 367,000, the Labor Department announced on Thursday.

Unlike last week when many state departments were closed for the holidays, all states turned in their unemployment aid figures and none of the numbers in today’s report are estimates, a department spokesman said.

The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, increased by 6,750, bringing the total to 365,750, up from last week’s revised average of 359,000.

“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4 percent for the week ending December 29, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week’s unrevised rate,” the report reads.

“The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending December 29 was 3,109,000, a decrease of 127,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,236,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,197,250, a decrease of 26,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,223,250,” the report adds.

The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending December 29 were Michigan (+15,107), Pennsylvania (+12,483), Wisconsin (+6,748), New Jersey (+3,436), and Missouri (+3,057).

Meanwhile, Florida (-11,015), Texas (-7,475), Virginia (-3,148), Illinois (-2,755), and Oklahoma (-1,782) posted the biggest decreases in initial claims.

“Overall a report that confirms that 6 years after the start of the Depression, propped by some $15 trillion in central bank reserve liquidity injections the bulk of which has been used to prop stock markets,” writers at Zero Hedge note, “there is still no actual improvement in the economy.”

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