The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week, pointing to a slowdown in layoffs.
The applications for first aid fell by 12,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was the lowest level since February and followed a two-week decline of 36,000 in jobless claims.
Applications are volatile because they tend to fluctuate with the business cycle. They often rise sharply as hiring slows, then fall off as hiring picks up again.
The country's jobless claims statistics for the week ending March 5 show a decline to 1.79 million from 2.19 million in the previous week, according to the Labor Department. The figure marked the lowest level of initial claims since April 23, when it was 1.81 million. It was also the first time since January that claims fell below 2 million.
The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility in the data, rose by 9,000 to 2.16 million, keeping it near its lowest level since late February at 2 million.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast initial claims falling to 2.040 million in the week ending March 5 and holding at 2 million for the next two weeks. The number of people applying for jobless benefits hit a record low last week, but the drop was smaller than expected and could be an indication that layoffs are happening more slowly than expected.
The number of people filing for unemployment benefits fell 10,000 to 284,000 in the week ended March 20, according to Labor Department figures released Friday. That's down from the previous week's record 290,000 claims and brings applications to their lowest level since late January.
The weekly average during the two-month period has been hovering around 300,000 claims each week. According to a recent report by CNN, the unemployment rate has risen to its highest level in 17 years. The figure has risen to 5.7 percent, which is not only higher than the previous high of 5.6 percent in 2000 but also much higher than the expected 4.1 percent rate in May. The report says that there are still millions of jobless Americans who are looking for work but unable to find it. This is mainly because many of them have been laid off from their jobs during economic recession and now they do not have enough time to look for another one before the unemployment benefits run out.
A Labor Department official pointed out that the decline in applications may not reflect the net reduction in layoffs because some workers who lost jobs but did not file applications could have found new ones since their initial job loss occurred.
The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits fell to a near-three-decade low last week, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.
The decline in applications is one of many positive signs for the economy, which has seen strong job growth and a decline in the number of people seeking work. The unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since December 2000. The latest figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Friday show that around 94.5 million Americans were employed in March, which represents a decline of 1.68 million workers from February and an increase of 542,000 jobs from January. While the number of jobs created in March was lower than what economists had forecasted, it's still a positive sign for the economy. The BLS also reported that wages grew 0.5 percent during the month, which is a bit higher than what economists had predicted for this month.
In a major victory for law enforcement agencies around the world, a recent operation took down one of the largest dark web drug marketplaces, disrupting a major source of illegal drug distribution. Th...Read More..
The First Republic Bank, one of the largest private banks in the United States, is currently in a state of limbo as federal regulators juggle its fate. The bank is facing scrutiny from both the Federa...Read More..
Toronto stock futures are lower, and the TSX lost 0.5% to close at 12,694. The index has now been in a bear market for 11 weeks. Crude oil, gold and copper have all fallen sharply as investors have du...Read More..
Ford is planning to boost its North American production by 2 percent in the first half of 2020, according to Reuters, as the company looks to make up for lost sales from General Motors Co. and Fiat Ch...Read More..