Thursday, August 07, 2008
The Labor Department reported initial jobless claims at a new high for the current cycle at 455,000, following last week's surge to 448,000. These are the first back-to-back readings in the 450,000 range since April of 2003.
Extended unemployment benefits, signed into law two months ago, have resulted in previously laid-off workers once again being eligible to apply for benefits and this is clearly helping to push recent headline figures higher.
The Labor Department said it is not able to determine the extent of this impact but that it should fade over the next month.