The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

October 31, 2013

Jobless claims drop for third straight week as shutdown impact ends

Jobless claims have been volatile this fall

WASHINGTON — Initial jobless claims fell for the third straight week as furloughed federal employees returned to work and the effects of the government shutdown abated, the Labor Department said Thursday.

There were 340,000 people who filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, a drop of 10,000 from the previous week. Economists had projected the number would drop to 335,000.

The figure was down significantly from 373,000 claims in the week that ended Oct. 5, the highest level since January. The spike was caused by the furlough of about 800,000 federal workers on Oct. 1 after Congress and the White House failed to agree on a spending bill after the fiscal year ended.

The Pentagon recalled about 400,000 civilian employees the following week, and the rest of the workforce returned on Oct. 17.

Initial jobless claims have declined steadily in recent weeks as fewer federal workers applied for benefits. Just 14,423 federal employees filed claims in the week ending Oct. 19, the latest data available. The figure was down from 44,136 the previous week, the Labor Department said.

The four-week average of jobless claims, which smoothes out some of the volatility, remained elevated last week at 356,250, up 8,000 from the previous week.

The claims figures have been unusually volatile this fall because of the government shutdown and computer upgrade problems in California and Nevada in September.

Before that, claims had averaged about 330,000 a week during the late summer, the best performance since the end of the Great Recession and a sign of moderate job growth.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Ellison urges Minn. to aid Central American minors ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota congressman is leading efforts to bring more unaccompanied children fleeing Central America to the state. But, immigration advocates and nonprofit groups that serve refugees are concerned Minnesota might not be abl

    July 22, 2014

  • Detroit retirees back pension cuts by a landslide DETROIT (AP) — A year after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is building momentum to get out, especially after workers and retirees voted in favor of major pension changes just a few weeks before a judge holds a crucial trial that could end the largest

    July 22, 2014

  • Closings set in Ventura's suit over sniper's book ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Closing arguments are set in former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's defamation lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle. The case is expected to go to the federal jury in St. Paul after lawyers for both

    July 22, 2014

  • American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel. Israel calls them the lone soldiers: They are men and women in the prime of their live

    July 22, 2014

  • 9 TC Rainbow stores to close Supermarkets to lose in Cottage Grove, Shoreview, Inver Grove Heights, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove and Savage

    July 21, 2014

  • Accelerants fuel fire; 2 rescued ST. PAUL — Two brothers were rescued from the upper floor of a St. Paul duplex in a fire that was fueled by cylinders of gas, oxygen and other accelerants. Authorities say the two were taken to Regions Hospital where one man is in critical condition

    July 21, 2014

  • Monticello doctor dies in cycle crash Patients among those mourning Dr. Eric Lefebvre's death

    July 21, 2014

  • Precautions urged for excessive heat, humidity MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Health officials are urging Minnesotans to take precautions in dealing with high temperatures and humidity. The National Weather Service says the humidity will make temperatures feel like 100 to 110 degrees Monday across much of M

    July 21, 2014

  • NASA names building for moonwalker Neil Armstrong NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon when the Apollo 11 mission landed there 45 years

    July 21, 2014

  • Minnesota man loses relatives in airliner crash Drew Ryder of Willmar says victims included his brother, sister-in-law

    July 21, 2014