The number of Americans lining up for first-time jobless benefits rose by 54,000 last week, the U.S. Labor Dept. reported today. The number of workers filing initial jobless claims for the week ended November 24 hit 488,000, the Labor Dept. said, adding that the weekly jobless claims report typically fluctuates during this time of year because of several shortened holiday work weeks.
Those workers out of jobs are staying that way, according to the report. The number of so-called continued claims rose by 301,000 to 4.02 million for the week ended November 17, the biggest one-week jump in 27 years.
The number of continued claims was at its highest level since December 25, 1982, when it hit 3.82 million.
The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a more reliable measure of employment conditions because it irons out weekly fluctuations, dipped to 454,000 last week from 456,000 the week before.