- May 21 (Bloomberg) -- More Americans than forecast filed claims for unemployment insurance last week, and the total number of workers receiving benefits rose to a record, signs the job market continues to weaken even as the economic slump eases.
Initial jobless claims fell by 12,000 to 631,000 in the week ended May 16, from a revised 643,000 the prior week that was higher than initially estimated, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The total number of people collecting benefits rose to 6.66 million, a record reading for a 16th straight week, and a sign companies are still not hiring.
Job losses are likely to continue after Chrysler LLC filed for bankruptcy and General Motors Corp. may follow suit and terminate 1,100 U.S. dealers. The auto slump threatens to slow any recovery from the deepest recession in half a century and keep pushing unemployment higher.
“We expect upward pressure on claims stemming from auto- related layoffs,” said Maxwell Clarke, chief U.S. economist at IDEAglobal in New York, who acurately forecast the initial claims number. “The labor market will remain weak, with gradual improvement on the horizon.” (There are no gradual improvements on the horizon)
- Lansing -- Michigan's unemployment rate rose to 12.9 percent in April, its highest mark since late 1983.
The state said Wednesday that Michigan's seasonally adjusted jobless rate was pushed up by large job losses in manufacturing and construction.
Last month's jobless rate was the highest in Michigan since unemployment reached 13 percent in November 1983. Michigan's jobless rate in March, 12.6 percent, already was highest in the nation.
The national unemployment rate rose from 8.5 percent in March to 8.9 percent in April.