Jobless claims up - but don't take statistics to heart just yet, top analyst says
Recent stats in line with auto layoff figures
More Americans filed jobless claims last week than was previously
predicted - but the nation's top financial analyst says not to take the
figures to heart just yet. Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at Maria
Fiorini Ramirez Inc. in New York and the best forecaster of U.S.
economic indicators says that "seeing through the statistical noise, the
labor market is pretty soggy, and the claims numbers will reflect that
once they settle down . I don't think next week is going to be a clean
read either, so you might have to wait a little while longer."
Ford said it would idle 13 plants for one week instead of two as part of the company's annual summer shutdown. Nissan Motor Co. is also boosting hours to meet consumer demand.
Applications for jobless benefits increased by 34,000 to 386,000 the week ending July 14, Labor Department figures showed today.
Estimates for first-time claims ranged from 350,000 to 390,000 in the Bloomberg News survey of 47 economists. The Labor Department initially reported the prior week's applications at 350,000.
The timing of car factory shutdowns in order to retool for the new model year has been hard to predict this year, making adjusting the claims data for these seasonal variations more challenging, the Labor Department official said.
The official said the adjustment process expected a decrease of about seven percent in unadjusted claims. Instead claims rose about two percent. The official said it will take a couple of weeks for the volatility to ease.
Chrysler Group LLC said that three U.S. plants would skip normally their scheduled two-week midyear shutdowns to meet increased demand in May. Two more plants would shut for one week instead of two. Ford said it would idle 13 plants for one week instead of two as part of the company's annual summer shutdown. Nissan Motor Co. is also boosting hours to meet consumer demand.
The number of people continuing to collect unemployment 1,000 in the week ended July 7 to 3.31 million. The continuing claims figure does not include the number of workers receiving extended benefits under federal programs.
Those who've used up their traditional benefits and are now collecting emergency and extended payments decreased by about 85,000 to about 2.57 million in the week ended June 30.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Unemployment, car makers, Ford, Nissan
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