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Latest unemployment insurance claims more than anticipated, but increase not necessarily bad news

Published: Thursday, Jan. 3 2013 11:15 a.m. MST

Unemployment insurance claims increased by 10,000 to 372,000 last weekend, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The rise was higher than experts expected.

Economists forecasted 360,000 claims this time of year, according an article by Bloomberg. But this increase isn’t necessarily a bad sign. The increase is in part due to some state agencies being closed during the holidays, according to Bloomberg, which prevents a clear analysis of real conditions.

“There’s a lot of volatility this time of year,” Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates, told Bloomberg. “Job destruction is really not a problem right now. It’s really hiring that’s the issue.”

Job growth had no significant change during the first 11 months of the year, but job cuts this year only reached 523,362, which is the lowest year-end total since 1997.

So while unemployment hovers, some areas of the market are recovering, according to an article by Wall St. Cheat Sheet.

“We saw a few spikes in monthly job cuts in 2012 and there were some significant mass layoffs that definitely reminded us that not every industry is enjoying the fruits of recovery,” said Chief Executive Officer John A. Challenger to Wall St. Cheat Sheet. “However, the overall pace of downsizing was at its slowest since the end of the recession. In fact, we have not seen this level of job cutting since before the dot.com collapse and subsequent 2001 recession.”

Companies in construction, retail, aerospace and defense industries had less job cutting, while the largest layoffs in December came from Citigroup. Early in the month, 11,000 cuts were made.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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