Tuesday, July 28th18.2°C
27122
26827

Weekly applications for US unemployment benefits drop to 331K, in a sign of fewer layoffs

WASHINGTON - The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits declined 20,000 last week to 331,000, suggesting that Americans are facing fewer layoffs and better job prospects.

The Labor Department said the four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up 250 to 334,000. That remains near pre-recession levels and serves as evidence that job losses have waned.

A total of 3.47 million Americans received benefits as of Jan. 18, down from 3.58 million the week before.

The January employment report being released Friday by the Labor Department will show whether hiring has improved. A scant 74,000 jobs were added in December, the fewest in three years. Most economists forecast that hiring will rebound in January to roughly match the monthly average of 185,000 jobs gained over the past two years.

The unemployment rate fell in December to 6.7 per cent from 7 per cent. But much of the decline was due to the departure of about 347,000 unemployed people who stopped looking for work. Once people without jobs stop looking for one, they're no longer counted as unemployed.

A private sector jobs report by ADP, a payroll processor, said Wednesday that companies added 175,000 jobs in January. The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and diverged sharply from the government's more comprehensive report in December.

ADP reported 227,000 new jobs in December, or 153,000 more than what the Labor Department did.

Separately, the unemployment rate could continue to fall in January because of a continued workforce exodus.

About 1.4 million fewer Americans are receiving unemployment benefits after a 5-year old emergency federal program expired Dec. 28. The program provided up to 47 extra weeks of unemployment aid paid for by the federal government after the jobless had exhausted their state benefits.

Recent economic reports have fueled concerns of a slowdown in the United States and other economies worldwide.

Stock markets have plummeted. U.S. manufacturing has experienced a slowdown, according to a private survey released Monday by the Institute for Supply Management. Turmoil in emerging economies such as China and Turkey and signs of slower growth in the United States have also raised doubts about whether the Federal Reserve will continue to pare down its monthly bond purchases.

Still, many economists have become more optimistic about the economy accelerating this year. Several are predicting a solid annual growth rate of 3 per cent or more, the strongest performance since 2005.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

26764


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14003.41+2.04
S&P CDNX580.70-1.02
DJIA17530.80+90.21
Nasdaq5052.19+12.41
S&P 5002079.84+12.20
CDN Dollar0.7712+0.0043
Gold1097.10+0.60
Oil47.73-0.12
Lumber255.80-1.90
Natural Gas2.834+0.045

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.18-0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.37+0.01
Cantex0.035-0.015
Anavex Life Sciences0.8984-0.0116
Metalex Ventures0.06-0.01
Russel Metals18.62-0.83
Copper Mountain Mining0.83+0.03
Colorado Resources0.06+0.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.0045-0.0022
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.03+0.01
Mission Ready Services0.15+0.00
Decisive Dividend Corp2.60-0.10

 



26959

FEATURED Property
22324882005 Montego Street
4 bedrooms 4 baths
$389,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Chasing ducks

Photo: Thinkstock.comWhen businessmen tell me that being low priced is the only way to stay in business, I am skeptical. Price is the simplest way for a consumer to compare and is overused as the basi...


Taking care of business

Photo: Thinkstock.comRetirement as a goal has changed a lot over the years. There was a time, it was the only goal. You’d punch the clock and count the years until you could stop punching that t...


Income from home equity

Photo: Thinkstock.comWhen retirement funds run low, seniors often ask if tapping into the equity in their home is the right way to retain financial independence. To see if this option might be a good ...

_



27052




Member of BC Press Council


26632