Jobless Claims Rise, Extended Claims Set 18-Year Record

October 18, 2001 ( - Against a weakening economic backdrop, more Americans lined up for first time unemployment benefits last week, newly released data from the Department of Labor (DoL) shows.

The number of initial jobless claims increased by 6,000 from the previous week?s revised figure of 484,000, registering a seasonally adjusted 490,000 for the week ending October 13. The number was above analysts? expectations.

The data also reveals that workers are remaining unemployed, those claiming an additional week of state unemployment benefits increased by 152,000 to 3.65 million for the week ending October 6, the most recent week for which data was available. The number is the highest it has been for 18 years.

Extended Claims Higher

The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a more accurate barometer of employment conditions since it smoothes out weekly volatility, increased for the fourth week in a row, reaching 491,250, the highest level in more than a decade.

The states with the highest increased in initial claims were Wisconsin, where layoffs increased in the manufacturing, construction, service, transportation and communications industries, and Virginia, where layoffs were up in the textile and non-electrical machinery industries.

States where the jobless picture was slightly more positive were Ohio and Hawaii.