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Jobless Claims, Median Wages Rise

The number of U.S. initial jobless claims climbed higher the week ended January 17. Median wages for the fourth quarter of 2008 were up 4 percent from a year earlier.

January 22, 2009
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The number of U.S. initial jobless claims climbed higher the week ended January 17, while the four-week moving average was unchanged, according to numbers released Thursday, January 22, by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Initial unemployment claims increased 11.8 percent to 589,000 in the week ended January 17, compared with the revised number of 527,000 from the previous week, according to the Department of Labor. The four-week moving average of initial claims was unchanged from the previous week at 519,250, based on a revised average.

Initial claims represent those people filing for unemployment benefits.

The weekly median wage for full-time U.S. workers was $728 in the fourth quarter of 2008, up 4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Full-time workers older than 25 without a high school diploma had a weekly median wage of $459, compared with $619 for high school graduates without college. Those with at least a bachelor's degree earned a median wage of $1,115 a week.

Women who usually worked full-time had a median weekly wage of $650 per week, or 80.5 percent of the $807 for men.

Report compiled by Staffing Industry Analysts, a sister company of Workforce Management

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