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Friday, July 14, 2006

Weekly Jobless Claims Highest Since May

By Yaser Anwar, CSC of Equity Investment Ideas

In the past week, new unemployment claims hit their highest level since the end of May, according to data from the Labor Department.

First-time applications jumped by 19,000 to hit 332,000 for the week, and "the four-week moving average of new claims, meanwhile, rose by 8,750 to 317,250," according to MarketWatch. Analysts prefer the moving average as an accurate gauge of jobless claims since it takes into consideration any fluctuations in weekly data. reports that the jump in claims is partly blamed on layoffs in the auto industry, as car manufacturers closed their factories in July in preparation for new models, according to government data.
Other government reports show that while U.S. companies continued hiring in June, they did so at a considerably lower pace than in the very beginning of the year, with non-farm payrolls growing by a relatively weak 121,000 jobs in that month.

"The number of people continuing to file claims for unemployment insurance fell 18,000 to 2.43 mln. The four-week moving average of continuing claims rose 2,000 to 2.43 mln. That's the highest four-week average since the week ended April 22," says Forbes.

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