Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise

Claims for unemployment insurance by first-time filers rose 6,000 last week to 402,000, the first time in a month that claims had been over 400,000, the Department of Labor announced today.

“They’re not in a danger zone, but the trend is not becoming healthier,” Pierre Ellis, an economist at Decision Economics in New York, told Reuters.

Typically the number of claims filed during a holiday week is lower than it would be otherwise, since people don’t necessarily head straight to the unemployment office to file for claims or the office is closed.

For the week ended Nov. 12, the most recent week data were available, 7 million people were receiving some form of unemployment benefits, down from 8.9 million a year ago.