Jobless claims rose by 4,000 for a second week to reach 372,000 in the period ended Aug. 18, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington.
Yelena Shulyatyeva, a U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York, said before the reported, “It’s still very sluggish, and growth itself is implying we should not see any acceleration in hiring at this point.”
Unemployment has been above 8 percent since February 2009 – - the longest stretch in the post-World War II era.
Today’s report showed the number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits climbed by 4,000 in the week ended Aug. 11 to 3.32 million.
The continuing claims figure does not include the number of Americans receiving extended benefits under federal programs.
Those who’ve used up their traditional benefits and are now collecting emergency and extended payments decreased by about 48,300 to 2.33 million in the week ended Aug. 4.