Jobless Claims Jump Unexpectedly

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits jumped unexpectedly last week, underscoring a faltering labor market that saw no new jobs created in August.

The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims increased by 2,000 to 414,000 in the week ended Sept. 3. Economists had expected claims to come in slightly lower at 405,000 claims. The prior week's claims were upwardly revised to 412,000.

Continuing claims for the week ending Aug. 27 ticked down to 3.72 million, after a revised 3.75 million in the prior week. Economists had anticipated 3.7 million continuing claims in the week ending Aug. 27.

Meanwhile, the four week moving average for initial claims inched up 3,750 to 414,750 from a revised average of 411,000 in the prior week.

Before the release of the report, High Frequency Economics said that claims would likely be elevated in the coming weeks due to the effects of Hurricane Irene. "It is true that the immediate impact of major weather events can be to depress claims, because people often have better things to do than file jobless claims when a storm is coming, but we think it is prudent now to assume that claims rose in the week after Irene," explained HFE.

-- Written by Chao Deng in New York.

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