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U.S. Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Increase

The number of people filing claims for jobless benefits from the U.S. federal

The number of people filing claims for jobless benefits from the U.S. federal government unexpectedly rose during the week that ended on June 9, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on June 14. The increase in filings could be indicative of people losing their

The number of people filing claims for jobless benefits from the U.S. federal government unexpectedly rose during the week that ended on June 9, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on June 14. The increase in filings could be indicative of people losing their finance jobs.

Claims for most recent week
According to DOL data, the number of people submitting applications for these benefits rose to a seasonally-adjusted level of 386,000 during the period, which was 6,000 higher than the 380,000 claims filed during the previous week.

The number of claims filed for these benefits exceeded the predictions provided by market experts surveyed by various media outlets. Economists who took part in a Bloomberg News survey provided a median estimate of claims dropping to 375,000. In addition, market experts who took part in a MarketWatch poll predicted that the number of claims would fall to 376,000.

This uptick in applications could raise the concerns of market participants that the labor force will face challenges mending after the pace of job creation declined over the last four months, according to Bloomberg. Decelerating economic growth and uncertainty about the business climate may make companies less likely to hire.

"This is a bit of a notch-shift higher with jobless claims," Bricklin Dwyer, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York, told the news source. "We’ve seen some disappointing employment reports in May. The labor market is just kind of mediocre right now, not gaining much traction."

The four-week moving average rose by 3,500 to reach 382,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 378,500.

Claims over last year
The number of people filing claims for these benefits is frequently used as a means of indicating whether the number of layoffs is increasing or dropping from week to week . The number of people filing applications for these benefits fell steadily during the final six months of 2011, and reached its lowest point in four years in February. Afterwards, the claims figure rebounded.

The U.S. economy created 69,000 new roles in May and 77,000 in April. In testimony given to the Joint Economic Committee, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke asked "will there be enough growth going forward to make material progress on the unemployment rate?," according to the media outlet.

He followed up with "that’s the essential decision and the central question that we have who look at."