Saturday, February 28th6.1°C
25355
24893

Lowest number of Americans seeking jobless benefits in almost 7 years, declines 32K to 300,000

WASHINGTON - The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in almost seven years, falling 32,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 300,000.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,750 to 316,250.

Fewer Americans sought benefits last week than at any point since the Great Recession began at the end of 2007. Applications are at their lowest level since May of that year.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The decrease suggests that employers expect stronger economic growth in the coming months and are holding onto their workers.

But Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, cautioned that the drop-off might be smaller than it appears. He noted that the Easter holiday, which moves from year-to-year, might have distorted the seasonal adjustments.

"We need to see a few more weeks' numbers before we can be sure where the trend now stands," Shepherdson said in a client note. "Our core view is that claims are drifting gently downwards."

Employers added 192,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said last week. That follows gains of 197,000 in February, as the unemployment rate stayed at 6.7 per cent for the second straight month.

Snowstorms and freezing temperatures in January and December shut down factories, kept shoppers away from stores, and reduced home buying. That cut into growth and hiring. Employers added 144,000 jobs in January and only 84,000 in December.

More jobs and higher incomes will be needed to spur better overall economic growth. For now, economists expect the bad weather contributed to weak growth of 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent at an annual rate in the January-March quarter. But as the weather improves, most analysts expect growth to rebound to near 3 per cent.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

24153


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15234.34-6.82
S&P CDNX706.73+5.80
DJIA18132.70-81.72
Nasdaq4963.528-24.362
S&P 5002104.50-6.24
CDN Dollar0.7996+0.0004
Gold1203.00+6.10
Oil52.14+1.53
Lumber297.20+1.20
Natural Gas2.895-0.007

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.12+0.005
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.55-0.03
Cantex0.035-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.190.00
Metalex Ventures0.035-0.005
Russel Metals25.38+0.08
Copper Mountain Mining1.30+0.04
Colorado Resources0.15+0.015
ReliaBrand Inc0.008-0.0007
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05+0.015
Mission Ready Services0.235+0.025

 





FEATURED Property
2212277329 Quilchena Drive
4 bedrooms 3 baths
$599,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Creating your retirement vision

A vision means different things to different people. To the head of a large corporation, it’s the ability to chart a course that will deliver success (think Steve Jobs and Apple), to a shaman, i...


Are you asking the right questions?

Have you ever had this happen to you? You are in the middle of your second or third good discussion with a prospect and everything seems to be going great. The prospect seems engaged and happy to work...


It's OK to say 'I'm sorry'

Photo: ContributedStand-up comedians and sitcoms have been making fun of Canadians for being polite as long as I can remember. Being known for our niceness is certainly not a bad thing and I wish more...

_








Member of BC Press Council


24843