By Gerri Elder
Despite economists' predictions, CNNMoney reported that the number of out-of-work Americans and those signing up for unemployment benefits rose the second week of September. During the week of September 8 through September 12, applications for jobless benefits rose to 455,000, reported the Labor Department. That is 10,000 more applications than from the week before.
With the stock market struggling to stand on uneven ground, the economy stalling, and the government taking over major financial institutions to bail out the companies, it is no surprise numbers associated with unemployment continued to rise. Yet, the analysts of a report compiled by Brief.com felt that the number of out-of-work people signing up for unemployment benefits would drop to 440,000.
When the number of applicants for jobless benefits is above 400,000, it indicates a weakness in employment. According to CNNMoney, the four-week seasonally adjusted moving average of jobless claims was 323,250 last year, but the claims have rose 5,000 to 445,000 this year.
And although the number of people continuing to receive unemployment fell to 3.48 million by 55,000 in the week of September 6, the number of people continuing to receive unemployment benefits was 2.56 million a year ago.
According to CNNMoney, the government reported that 84,000 people lost jobs in August, which brings the number of job cuts to 605,000 for the year. Yet it is important to remember that unemployment statistics show the net number of jobs lost.
As an economist points out on his blog, the gross number of jobs lost this year is actually 20 million. Six hundred thousand is the number of people that have not been able to find new jobs since January of 2008.
In August, CNNMoney reported that the unemployment rate reached 6.1 percent, which is up from 5.7 percent in July.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reported in July that 8.8 million unemployed people were seeking jobs in the country, yet there were only 3.4 million openings.
According to statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for every available job, there are 2.6 job seekers. In December 2006, there were 16 job seekers for every 10 job openings; a year and a half later, there are 26 unemployed people seeking jobs for every 10 openings.
And the numbers don't look to be improving. On September 15, Hewlett-Packard announced that it plans to cut 24,000 employees. Two days later, Federal-Mogul told the press it will cut 4,000 jobs from its business.
The two states that saw the largest increase in the number of unemployment benefit filings were North Carolina and Wisconsin. Both states have seen layoffs in construction, furniture, manufacturing and transportation.
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