Thursday, August 18, 2011

Weekly US jobless claims hit 408k

New claims for unemployment insurance benefit rises in US

Source: Press TV

New claims for unemployment benefits in the US have escalated beyond the official 400,000 forecast as the world's largest economy struggles with a failing economy.

The number of workers claiming benefits rose by about 9,000 to reach a weekly total of 408,000 in the week ending August 13, the US Labor Department said in a Thursday report.

The new figure topped the average analyst estimate of 400,000 benefit claims.

"This was a slightly larger increase than expected, a reminder that the labor market has yet to break into sustained improvement," said Sara Kline at Moody's Analytics.

Currently the unemployment rate in the United States stands at 9.2 percent, the worst level since President Ronald Reagan was in office in the 1980s.

However, when measured according to the formula that was used when President Bill Clinton took office in 1993, the unemployment rate is around 20 percent.

Last month, following weeks of bipartisan dispute, the Republican-controlled Congress approved a USD 2.1 trillion deficit-cutting plan over the next decade for raising Washington's borrowing limit, just hours before a pending US default.

Both Republicans and Democrats have promised that the cuts will create new jobs, and that the economy will improve.

But economic experts have warned that the new austerity measures will in fact be worse for the already sluggish US economy.

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