The Labor Department said Thursday new claims for unemployment insurance rose by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 444,000. Wall Street economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected an increase of only 3,000.
The rise was partly a result of large seasonal layoffs in the retail, manufacturing and construction industries, a Labor Department analyst said. The second week of January usually sees the largest increase in claims, unadjusted for seasonal trends, during the year, the analyst said.
Still, the increase didn't disrupt the longer-term downward trend in claims. The four-week average dropped to 440,750, its 19th straight drop and lowest level since August 2008.
Initial claims are considered a gauge of the pace of layoffs and an indication of companies' willingness to hire new workers.
Could one reason why so many companies are hesitent to hire because of the potential taxes about to hit? If either one or both Cap And Trade and Health Care pass, costs will be passed on. It's high school economics.
Forgot about this. The Bush tax cuts are about to expire soon. Another tax hike by all accounts.