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Jobless Claims Rise Last Week Despite Decreased Layoff Levels In June

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 8/13/2009

Although hiring rates are at a record low and jobless claims continue to increase, the weekly unemployment rate and monthly layoff levels provide glimmers of hope.

The statistic landscape of employment is a complex one, with decreased weekly unemployment rates and layoff levels tempering low hiring rates and increased weekly jobless claims.

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This week's advance figure from the Department of Labor for weekly unemployment insurance claims showed an increase of 4,000 last week to 558,000.

Though this level is 31,000 claims lower than the reading at the end of July, it is 18,000 claims higher than the level at this time last year.

However, the insured unemployment rate decreased 0.1 point from last week's rate of 4.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week that the number of job openings in June was 2.6 million at a rate of 1.9 percent, which has not changed since March.

The hires rate of 2.9 percent - lower than the 3 percent seen in May and the 3.5 percent recorded in June 2008 - was the lowest number since the series started in December 2000.

In slightly better news for small business owners, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that layoffs have decreased - falling from 2.3 million and a rate of 1.7 percent in May to 2.15 million and a rate of 1.6 percent in June - indicating that businesses may be experiencing improved financial performance.

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