Jobless Claims Show Modest Uptick

August 15, 2002 ( - First-time jobless benefits claims rose by a modest 6,000 last week, but people are still having trouble getting off the unemployment line.

According to the US Department of Labor  (DoL) data, first time claims bumped up to 388,000 for the August 10 week, up from a revised 382,000 the week before.

New claims bested economists’ expectations with predictions of a rise to 378,000.

While the initial claims figures have bounced up and down, the overall trend has been downward, a sign that the job market is stabilizing at a lower level. The figure has also stayed below 400,000, a level economists consider as indicating a recession.

First-time claims were in relatively good shape, but the Labor Department figures also showed that people are still struggling to find work. Continued claims — for those who have already drawn at least a week of benefits — rose to 3.58 million in the week ended August 3.

That’s the highest since matching 3.58 million in the July 6 week.

The closely watched four-week moving average, a more reliable barometer of labor market trends because it irons out weekly fluctuations, rose to 381,750 in the week ended August. 10, up slightly from 380,500 in the previous week.