US jobless claims see unexpected rise

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Press TV

Applications to begin receiving unemployment benefits in the US have climbed more than forecast, indicating the labor market will need more time to improve.

A man browsing through available jobs at a local unemployment office

A man browsing through available jobs at a local unemployment office

Jobless claims increased by 26,000 to 436,000 in the week ending November 27, Labor Department figures showed on Thursday.

That is six percent higher than the previous week’s jobless claims, which had fallen to their lowest since July 2008.

After slowing the pace of firings in November, companies may be on the cusp of ramping up the hiring necessary to boost consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the US economy.

A Labor Department report scheduled for Friday is expected to show employers hires 145,000 workers last month and the unemployment rate was held at 9.6 percent.

The total number of people receiving unemployment insurance and those on extended payments also increased.

Thousands of Americans might lose unemployment benefits after Congress failed to agree on extending aid to the long-term unemployed.

About 8,400 people will see their jobless payments cut off by the end of this week, according to the Labor Department. Before the last week of the year, aid to 1.36 million people will be interrupted.

The lapse in benefits for those Americans will not affect overall weekly jobless claims but would lower household income and purchases this month .

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has recently warned the current high level of unemployment could become entrenched and have a “very long-term effect” on the US economy.

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