Thursday, June 21, 2012

Unemployment Higher Than Expected

More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, indicating the labor market continues to struggle. 

Jobless claims decreased by 2,000 to 387,000 in the week ended June 16, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 45 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 383,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, climbed to the highest of the year. 

The level of dismissals may raise concern the slowdown in payrolls reported in the past few months will be prolonged, limiting consumer spending. Federal Reserve policy makers yesterday expanded a program to replace short-term bonds with longer-term debt in a bid to spur growth and trim a jobless rate that’s exceeded 8 percent for 40 consecutive months. 

“The labor market recovery is continuing to veer well off- course,” Millan Mulraine, senior U.S. strategist at TD Securities Inc. in New York, said before the report. “The recovery has remained stuck in the midst of another soft-patch.”

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