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Unemployment claims rise by 69,000

January 31 2008

In the week ended Jan. 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 375,000, an increase of 69,000, or 22.5%, from the previous week's revised figure of 306,000. This is the highest level since early October and the largest weekly jump since Sept. 2005 following Hurricane Katrina. A Labor Department official attributed the sharp increase to difficulty adjusting to the Martin Luther King federal holiday, according to MarketWatch news. The four-week moving average was 325,750, an increase of 10,250 from the previous week's revised average of 315,500.

In the most recent state numbers, for the week ended Jan. 19, Florida registered the largest increase in initial unemployment claims, up 4,305. Florida cited layoffs in the construction, trade, service, and manufacturing industries. North Carolina posted the largest decrease, down 15,401. It cited fewer layoffs in the construction, trade, textile, and furniture industries.

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