Jobless claims made their largest jump in two months as reported Thursday, September 13. The seasonally adjusted number came in at 382,000 new claims. The Department of Labor blamed the 15,000 new applications were blamed on Hurricane Isaac.
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The four-week average increased for the fourth week in a row to 375,000. The four week average is a smoother, less volatile number than the weekly number.
The four-week average is a gauge for changes in the unemployment rate since new application reports that consistently fall below the 375,000 mark signify unemployment is going down.
The claims report comes on the heels of another disappointing job creation report for August. The report fell far short of the anticipated 145,000 in new jobs, reporting that only 96,000 new jobs were created.
If the higher report was indeed caused by Hurricane Issac, future revisions will be made to reflect that. Multiple reports should be considered in determining a more accurate picture of job growth.