Extended Jobless Claims Hit 9 Year High

August 23, 2001(PLANSPONSOR.com) - Some 393,000 newly unemployed workers lined up to claim their first week of benefits in the week ending August 18.

That marked an increase of 8,000 from the previous week?s revised total of 385,000, according to figures released by the Department of Labor.

The number of people claiming yet another week of benefits was even more troubling, increasing by 131,000 to reach a nine year high at 3.182 million in the week ending August 11, the latest week for which data is available.

Continuous claims last reached this level in 1992 when the US struggled with a recession.

The more closely watched four-week moving average, a better indicator of joblessness increased by 6,750 to 378,750 from the previous week?s revised average of 372,000.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending August 11 were in Georgia, where layoffs in the textile industry resulted in 2,702 more initial claims. In contrast, initial claims in Texas fell by 2,120 due to fewer layoffs in the service industry.

The news follow on the heels of a data released yesterday showing that the number of mass layoff events in the second quarter of 2001 reached 1,911, compared with 1,271 over the same period a year ago (see Mass Layoffs Soar 50% in Q2 ).