October 23, 2009

While new unemployment claims rise again and Americans are losing their homes because they can't find work - work that doesn't exist, Republicans obstruct the passage of extended unemployment benefits by adding "poison pill" amendments aimed at ACORN and at providing yet another tax cut.

We won't forget. And we won't let you forget.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The number of first-time filers for unemployment insurance rose last week, snapping two weeks of significant declines, according to a government report issued Thursday.

There were 531,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended Oct. 17, up 11,000 from an upwardly revised 520,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said in a weekly report. The week included the Columbus Day holiday.

A consensus estimate of economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected 515,000 new claims.

"[The initial claims figure] is somewhat surprising," wrote Jim Baird analyst at Plante Moran Financial Advisors, in a research note. "Excess slack in the system and employers' hesitance to ramp up hiring appear likely to weigh on the labor markets for some time."

[...] The government said 5,923,000 people filed continuing claims in the week ended Oct. 10, the most recent data available. That was down 98,000 from the preceding week's ongoing claims, and would -- if not revised -- mark the first time since late March that continuing claims were below 6 million.

But the slide in continuing claims may signal that more filers are falling off those rolls and into extended benefits.

Continuing claims reflect people filing each week after their initial claim until the end of their standard benefits, which usually last 26 weeks. The figures do not include those who have moved to state or federal extensions, nor people who have exhausted their benefits.

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