Weekly Jobless Claims Up Again; Economists Baffled

More Americans applied for jobless claims last week than the week prior, against economists’ predictions that applications would fall.

The Department of Labor announced that 472,000 people, or 13,000 more than last week, filed for unemployment benefits the week ended June 26.

Meanwhile, in the week ended June 12, a total of 376,000 Americans stopped receiving extended unemployment benefits, or about a tenth of the unemployed who will lose their benefits by the end of July if Congress doesn’t pass emergency legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that the Senate won’t be trying again to pass the bill, which died for a third time last Friday.

Meanwhile, economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict that tomorrow’s unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics will show a decrease of 125,000 jobs in June, offsetting many of the modest job gains enjoyed in the past few months.