A small rise in workers’ newly filed claims for unemployment in the last week, accompanied by positive news from the Philly Fed and the Conference Board, signaled Thursday that the U.S. economy continues its modest recovery.
For the week ended Nov. 13, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment insurance claims was 439,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 437,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week moving average was 443,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised average of 447,000. Analysts had expected 440,000 new job claims.
Taking a broad view of the U.S. jobs outlook, an analysis from the U.S. economics team at Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecast a “growth recession” that will just manage to post positive gross domestic product numbers.
“But this GDP growth will not be fast enough to reduce the unemployment rate,” the BofA-Merrill analysts predicted. “We expect roughly 100,000 monthly job growth through the middle of next year, just matching the growth in the labor force. This will leave the unemployment rate stuck close to 9.5% through next year.”
In a news-filled day that included the General Motors and LPL Financial initial public offerings as well as European debt turmoil in Ireland and Greece, stocks closed higher Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average finished 173.35 points higher, up 1.57%, at 11,181.23. The S&P 500 was up 18.10 points, 1.54% higher, at 1,196.69. The Nasdaq index closed up 38.39 points, 1.55% higher, at 2,514.40.