Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Jobless Claims Increased in July

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Jobless Claims Increased in July

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The number of Americans filing firstme claims for unemployment benefits shot up by 69,000 in the third week in July as the labor market was jarred by temporary layoffs in the auto industry, the government said Thursday.

It was the largest oneek increase in jobless claims in more than a decade, but private economists said the huge jump overstated the economy's weakness.

They noted that the layoffs lasted only two weeks as a result of a decision by General Motors Corp. to implement a companyde shutdown in late July.

"The claims numbers will be distorted for a while by GM's decision to shut itself down for two weeks but it won't have any longsting economic significance," said Bruce Steinberg, an economist at Merrill Lynch in New York.

The increase pushed the total number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits to a sevennth high of 469,000 for the week ending July 25, up from 400,000 the previous week.

Economists said they believed labor markets remained exceptionally weak, not because of GM's temporary layoffs, but because of the fact that the jobless claims level has failed to go below the 400,000-barrier even though the recession supposedly ended more than a year ago. …

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