The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell for the week ending January 11, as Congress continues to squabble over extending long-term unemployment benefits.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 2000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000 according to figures released Thursday. Claims for the previous week were revised to show an additional drop of 2,000 as well.
The four-week moving average for new claims fell by 13,500 to 335,000.
New York had the highest increase in claims owing to layoffs in transportation and warehousing, construction, and educational services industries. Michigan had the highest drop in claims thanks to fewer layoffs in the manufacturing industry.
Even as lawmakers have been able to strike a deal on the spending bill, there is no consensus on unemployment benefits, with Congressional Republicans saying that extending the benefits hinges on whether the government can find a way to pay for them.
[Department of Labor]