Unemployment benefits jump to 410,000

(AP) - More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, one week after claims had fallen to the lowest level in nearly three years.The big

WASHINGTON - (AP) - More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, one week after claims had fallen to the lowest level in nearly three years.The big drop a week earlier had occurred largely because badweather in many parts of the country had kept people from applyingfor benefits.

The Labor Department said Thursday that 410,000 people soughtunemployment assistance last week, a jump of 25,000 from theprevious week. The rise was much larger than economists hadexpected.

Applications are well below their peak of 651,000, reached inMarch 2009, when the economy was in the depths of the recession.Applications below 425,00 are viewed as a signal of modest jobgrowth but they would need to dip consistently to 375,000 or belowto indicate a significant and steady decline in the unemploymentrate.

The big jump in benefit applications followed a week in whichthe applications had fallen to a revised 385,000, the lowest levelsince July 2008. That improvement had reflected severe winterweather in much of the country that forced the closing ofgovernment offices and prevented people from filing applicationsfor benefits.

Economists had been looking for a rebound last week as acatch-up from the weather disruptions although the consensus viewhad been that claims would only rise to around 400,000.

The four-week average for benefit applications edged up to417,750 last week, slightly above the two-year low of 411,250reached in the week ending Jan. 1.

The unemployment rate fell to 9 percent in January after thefastest two-month drop in more than a half-century. Even with a 9percent unemployment rate, close to 14 million people are out ofwork.

The Labor Department said that 3.91 million people werereceiving regular unemployment benefits. That data is one weekbehind the figures for new applications. Another 4.5 million peopleout of work for a longer period are receiving extended unemploymentbenefits.

The latest data available shows that 9.25 million people werereceiving various types of government unemployment support for theweek ending Jan. 29.

An AP Economy Survey of top forecasters projects that employerswill create a net total of 2.2 million jobs this year, up from909,000 jobs created last year.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Police say the victim sustained multiple lacerations and 1 Police release sketch of man found dead in Massapequa Preserve
The van was a welcome addition to the 2 Nassau firefighters group donates van for disabled vets
Two Long Island residents with differing views on 3 LI residents offer different takes on GOP health bill failure
Police are searching for the driver involved in 4 Brentwood man killed in hit-and-run crash
When the new Nassau Coliseum opens its doors 5 New Coliseum to pay tribute to military, 9/11 victims

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE