Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose by 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 211,000 for the week ended March 4. Reuters reports that that was the biggest increase since October and lifted claims to their highest level in two months.
However, claims remained well below the 300,000 level associated with the recession. Economists had forecast 195,000 new claims last week, while the four-week average of a measure of labor market trends rose to 197,000 last week.
Part of the increase reflects an increase in the number of claims in New York State and California. Experts say the increase in New York state is an expected fallout from the winter break and is likely to reverse in the next report, while claims growth in California is “likely to be more persistent.”
Layoffs in American banks
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warned that there could be more layoffs and that Bank of America Corp. slowed hiring as America’s biggest lenders prepare for a potential recession that has sparked layoffs across corporate America.
Bloomberg reports that Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said the bank might have to cut staff in certain areas and be cautious with its financial resources due to growing economic uncertainty.
At Bank of America, employees are less likely to leave the company on their own, so hiring new employees has slowed down. Their chief executive Moynihan said that the bank is trying to manage headcount ahead of the expected recession. Previously, Morgan Stanley bank launched a plan to lay off about 2,000 people, about two percent of the total number of employees.