WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (UPI) — First-time jobless benefit claims rose by 5,000 in the week ending Saturday with the number skewed by a strike at Verizon, the Labor Department said.
With 45,000 Verizon Communications workers on strike, the Labor Department said 8,500 of those filed for unemployment benefits during the week, CNNMoney reported.
The catch is that striking workers are not granted unemployment benefits, but the first-time filing figure only counts claims filed. It does not reflect how many claims are processed and how many are accepted.
“Striking workers are not eligible for unemployment benefits, so the increase in filings either reflects misinformed strikers who applied for claims but will not receive them, or it could reflect related workers, such as contractors, who were impacted by but not part of the strike,” said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist for Deutsche Bank.
The Labor Department said 417,000 claims were filed with the four-week rolling average at 407,500, an increase of 4,000 from the previous revised average.
The Labor Department issues its monthly report on the employment situation on the first Friday of each month. In July, the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent, down from 9.2 percent in June.
In the week ending Aug. 13, New York had the largest increase in first-time claims with 5,067 additional claims filed. California had the largest decrease for the week with 10,912 fewer claims filed.