EmploymentCrossing.com The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment insurance last week was higher than economists expected. The number of continuing claims to collect unemployment insurance shot to a 25 year high.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial filings for state jobless benefits reached 481,000 for the week ended November 1, 2008. The report shows the number of Americans continuing to collect unemployment benefits surged to 3,843,000, the highest level since 1983. A year ago, the number was 2,590,000.
“It’s a problem,” said Bob Brusca, an economist at FAO Economics, “The labor market is not looking good at all. The small back off, that’s not great…initial claims have fulfilled any expectation you have of them for a normal or severe recession.”
Last month, nearly 7,500 jobless claims were filed due to Hurricane Ike and Gustav. The number of claims spiked in late September to 499,000, the highest level recorded since the wake of September 11 terrorist attacks.
Further, a private outplacement firm reported that last month had the highest number of pink slips handed out since January 2004.