by News Staff Posted Jul 19, 2012 2:22 pm MDT WASHINGTON – The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose by 34,000 last week, a figure that may have been skewed higher by seasonal factors.Applications for benefits increased to a seasonally adjusted 386,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The gain followed a drop of 24,000 the previous week and was the biggest jump since April 2011.Economists view the recent numbers with skepticism. The government struggles to adjust the data to reflect temporary summertime layoffs in the auto industry, they note. And this year, many automakers skipped those typical shutdowns to keep up with demand. That led to fewer layoffs two weeks ago, which the Labor Department didn’t anticipate.“All of this is statistical noise,” Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc., wrote in a note to clients. “What will be more important than these short-term gyrations is where claims settle down after the distortions end. We suspect that the data will point to a soggy labour market.”The less volatile four-week average fell by 1,500 to 375,500.When applications fall below 375,000, it typically suggests hiring is strong enough to pull the unemployment rate down. Applications had been trending near or above that level this spring.Nearly 5.8 million Americans were receiving some type of unemployment benefit the week that ended June 30, according to the most recent data available. That was down from 7.3 million a year earlier.“Although the labour market is stronger than it was in 2011, it is not particularly robust,” says Steven Wood, chief economist at Insight Economics.The economy has slumped after showing signs of life at the start of the year.Job growth slowed to 75,000 a month from April through June, down from healthy 226,000 pace the first three months of the year. Unemployment has been stuck at 8.2 per cent for two straight months.A survey from the Fed said hiring was “tepid” in most districts in June and early July, and manufacturing weakened in most regions.Retail sales fell in June for the third straight month, the government said earlier this week. That prompted many economists to downgrade their estimates for growth in the April-June quarter. Many now think it will be even slower than the first quarter’s sluggish 1.9 per cent annual pace.The only good news recently has been evidence of a long-awaited recovery in the housing market. The government reported Wednesday that U.S. builders last month broke ground on the most homes in nearly four years. Single-family home building rose for a fourth straight month. And permits to build single-family homes hit the highest level since March 2010. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US jobless claims rise by 34,000 to 386,000, reversing big drop caused by seasonal factors
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “He was performing a full moon ceremony, which Pagans are inclined to do once a month and involves incantations and rhythmic beating of drums.”I am quite satisfied it was Mr Denyer who prompted the initial exchange over the fence which soon escalated to insults and threats being traded on both sides.”Both sides went back into their respective homes to avoid further conflict and it simply should have ended there.”But a few minutes later each of you left your home to go round to Mr Bennett’s, you Mrs Denyer with an umbrella and you Mr Denyer with a carving knife.”The court heard more insults were traded at Mr Bennett’s garden gate, leading to Mrs Denyer to hit the druid with her brolly.The judge said: “You Mrs Denyer set about him with your umbrella, striking him to his head.”This resulted in two lacerations that caused immediate bleeding. He did no more than push you to one side – it would be understandable if it was with some degree of force.”Within moments you Mr Denyer were also involved. You punched out towards him in the stomach area thereby causing the wound to the abdomen.”He on seeing the knife then tried to disarm you. He grabbed the knife from you but not before receiving some other minor injuries. He sentenced Mr Denyer to 10 months in prison suspended for a year and 130 hours of unpaid work and Mrs Denyer to a six month suspended sentence with 100 hours of unpaid work.He told them: “You are of previous good character, you had gone to Hillbury Park for the tranquility and had no doubt led blameless and hardworking lives up until this particular point.”This was clearly out of temper and frustration at the intolerable noises coming yet again from your neighbour’s garden.” “Throughout the struggle Mrs Denyer continued to strike him with the umbrella, seemingly thinking her husband needed protection from the man who was in fact disarming him.” John Bennett and his partner Samantha Hathaway Judge Jonathan Fuller said: “You Mrs Denyer complained to your husband about the noise coming from Mr Bennett’s garden. Anne Denyer leaving Bournemouth Crown CourtCredit:Corey Ross/BNPS The fracas was witnessed by Mr Bennett’s partner, Samantha Hathaway, who became distraught at seeing blood.Judge Fuller said: “The depth of the injury is unclear, suffice to say Mr Bennett is a 22-stone man of very big build with a big belly. The knife went in sufficiently far to penetrate the abdominal muscle but not the peritoneal cavity.”Thomas Evans, defending Mr Denyer, said the incident was completely out of character for his client.He said: “This is a man who has lived a long and fruitful life without causing any problems whatsoever. He has never acted in the way which he did on that day before.”It was a moment of madness borne out through a developing situation with his neighbour.”They initially tried to deal with it in the correct manner – letters and complaints that had been sent – but when that didn’t work they took matters into their own hands in a completely inappropriate manner.”Judge Fuller said he accepted neither the Denyers had intended to do serious harm to their neighbour. But fellow residents spoke of the strange noises and smells that sometimes wafted from Mr Bennett’s garden. A druid witch was attacked and stabbed by his neighbours after they had enough of his noisy pagan rituals, a court heard. Mark and Anne Denyer attacked John Bennett as he conducted his latest back garden ceremony, which involved chanting and rhythmic beating of drums – something he did every full moon.Denyer exchanged insults over the fence with Mr Bennett, who goes by the Pagan name Bearheart, before storming round to his bungalow with his wifeMrs Denyer, 52, armed herself with an umbrella which she used to hit the bearded druid over the head with while her 56-year-old husband had grabbed a carving knife from the kitchen and made a “short jab” with it towards his victim.Because Mr Bennett weighs 22 stone and has a “big belly” the blade didn’t penetrate his abdomen and he suffered superficial injuries.A court heard the Denyers had never been in trouble with the police before the incident in Alderholt, Dorset.Denyer, a lorry driver, and his wife, denied charges of unlawful wounding but were found guilty following a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.They were handed suspended prison sentences by a judge who recognised they had become frustrated at the “intolerable noises coming yet again” from their neighbour’s garden. Mark Denyer leaving Bournemouth Crown CourtCredit:Corey Ross/BNPS One neighbour, who didn’t want to be named, said: “We sometimes heard odd, not normal, music and smells like joss sticks and things. John has a personalised number plate for his car that says 666, which is a bit worrying.”I think he’s quite open about saying he’s a witch.”Anne and Mark’s home is behind John’s garden and it sits up a bit higher so it’s effectively looking over his garden.”I think that made the noise levels a lot worse, but we didn’t know exactly what had gone on.”The court heard the Denyers moved to Hillbury Park, a semi-retirement residential park, in February 2017 for a peaceful and tranquil life.Their £150,000 property backed on to Mr Bennett’s home that he shared with his Pagan partner Samantha Hathaway.The couple are members of the Clan of the Pheryllt which are inspired by ancient druids who practised alchemy in the Welsh mountains.Today, members hold public and private rituals or esbats at the time of a full moon, solstices and equinoxes.The Denyers took exception to the “disturbances” from Mr Bennett’s property.They had complained to the park owners about the rituals but had never spoken directly to Mr Bennett until the evening of November 4 last year.