Wednesday, April 1st2.8°C
25757
25263

The number of Americans seeking jobless aid rises unexpectedly to highest level in 2 months

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level since February, a dose of mixed news for an economy that is supposed to be gaining momentum.

The Labor Department says a seasonally adjusted 344,000 people applied for jobless aid, up 14,000 from the previous week and the most since late February. Economists had expected a drop.

The less-volatile 4-week average rose by 3,000 to 320,000. The number of people applying for jobless aid has now risen three straight weeks.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said last week's numbers might have been warped by the Easter holiday. "We think the underlying trend is falling, but only slowly," he wrote in a research note.

Unemployment benefits are a proxy for layoffs and have fallen to pre-recession levels since peaking at 665,000 in March 2009.

Another Labor Department report shows that layoffs are running nearly 40 per cent below their peak in 2009. Though they've stopped cutting jobs, employers have been slower to add new ones: Hiring remains well below pre-recession levels. Still, the United States economy generated a solid 192,000 jobs in March on top of 197,000 in February. The government releases job figures for April on Friday. Economists are forecasting that the economy generated 210,000 jobs last month.

The government reported Wednesday that the economy grew at an annual pace of just 0.1 per cent from January through March. Economists blamed bad weather for the slowdown, which was worse than expected. Most expect growth to pick up as the year wears on and to reach an annual rate of more than 3 per cent from July through December.

The Federal Reserve was confident enough in the economy's strength to announce Wednesday that it would continue scale back a bond-purchasing program meant to keep long-term interest rates low and encourage more borrowing and spending.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

25790


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14902.44-5.95
S&P CDNX680.07-0.26
DJIA17776.12-200.19
Nasdaq4900.88-46.56
S&P 5002067.89-18.35
CDN Dollar0.7886-0.0002
Gold1181.80-1.30
Oil47.27-0.33
Lumber275.30-2.90
Natural Gas2.668+0.028

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.125+0.010
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.48-0.02
Cantex0.03-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.211-0.004
Metalex Ventures0.04+0.00
Russel Metals24.04-0.36
Copper Mountain Mining1.16-0.02
Colorado Resources0.11-0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.0036-0.0024
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.25+0.02
Decisive Dividend Corporation1.80+0.02

 





FEATURED Property
20539686076 Highway 97 S
4 bedrooms 3 baths
$758,888
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Down payment

If you have less than 20% down payment, mortgage insurance is required through Canada Mortgage & Housing (CMHC), Genworth or Canada Guaranty. Homeowners no longer need the minimum 5% down payment ...


CRA Notice of Assessment

Many Canadians rush to file their taxes on time each year and don’t think about it until the next year. One of the most overlooked notices received from the CRA annually is the annual Notice of ...


Medical confidential?

If ICBC asks your doctor for your information you may wonder: Can ICBC ask my doctor for my medical information? Can ICBC request a medical report from my doctor without my consent? What is ICBC entit...

_








Member of BC Press Council


25732