Initial Claims for Unemployment Rise

March 4, 2013 - The U.S. Labor Department released the latest weekly jobs numbers today, which showed that, for the week ending March 30, initial claims for unemploymnet rose to 385,000, which is an increase of 28,000 new claimants compared to last week.

The 4-week "moving average" was 354,250, which was an increase of 11,250.

Some analysts are citing effects from the Sequester, specifically furloughs and private sector layoffs, as a reason for the increase.

"With the sequester beginning to bite at this point, the market must take any upticks in initial jobless claims seriously," said a report by the Wrightson ICAP research group to the Wall Stree Journal.

The Labor Department report comes a day after ADP issued it's National Employment Report, for which it gathers private data directly from small businesses. That report showed an increase of 158,000 jobs in March. However, the natural increase in population aging-into the labor pool, compared to those who leave the labor-age range, requires a larger net increase in jobs per month to maintain the employment rate.

"The U.S. private sector added 158,000 jobs in the month of March 2013, with the majority of the new jobs created by service providers," said Carlos A. Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP. "Over the first quarter of 2013, the ADP National Employment Report has reported an average gain of 191,000 new private sector jobs per month."

Overall, there are a total of 5,288,614 Americans receiving unemployment benefits from either state or federal programs. This is down more than 167,000 over the prior week, but the drop in people receiving benefits at the same time there is an increase in people claiming benefits is largely due to people using up the full-length of benefit availability.