Wednesday, August 20th19.6°C
22938

Applications for US unemployment benefits fall to 297,000, lowest level in 7 years

WASHINGTON - The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in seven years last week, a sign the job market is steadily improving.

Weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 24,000 to 297,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the fewest since May 12, 2007. The four week average, a less volatile measure, dipped 2,000 to 323,250.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the decline is evidence that employers are cutting fewer jobs. Weekly applications topped 650,000 in March 2009, during the Great Recession.

Fewer people are also receiving benefits each week. The number of recipients fell to 2.67 million, the fewest since Dec. 1, 2007, when the recession began.

As applications have declined, hiring has picked up. Employers added the most jobs in 2 1/2 years in April. Job gains have averaged 214,000 in the first four months of this year, up from an average of 194,000 in 2013.

The unemployment rate fell to 6.3 per cent last month, from 6.7 per cent. But the drop occurred because fewer people looked for work. The government doesn't count people as unemployed unless they are actively searching.

The improved hiring may help boost economic growth for the rest of the year.

The economy grew just 0.1 per cent at an annual rate in the first three months of this year, largely because cold weather kept consumers away from shopping malls and discouraged home and car sales. Data released since then has suggested that the economy actually contracted in the first quarter by as much as 0.8 per cent, analysts say. The government will release updated figures for the first quarter at the end of the month.

Still, analysts expect the economy will rebound in the current April-June quarter and grow at a healthy pace of about 3.5 per cent. Consumer and business spending and homebuilding are rebounding from the cold weather.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

20304


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15514.45+37.28
S&P CDNX996.86-0.70
DJIA16952.4932.90
Nasdaq4527.731+0.217
S&P 5001983.70+2.10
CDN Dollar0.9137-0.0005
Gold1292.90-2.20
Oil95.27+0.79
Lumber355.80+3.20
Natural Gas3.808-0.069

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.185-0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.24+0.04
Cantex0.065-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.260.00
Metalex Ventures0.0850.00
Russel Metals37.23+0.01
Copper Mountain Mining2.84+0.07
Colorado Resources0.18+0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.077-0.003
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.025-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.225+0.025

 





FEATURED Property
16721801929 Old Okanagan Highway
2 bedrooms 2 baths
$98,500
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Cost of an Injury Lawyer

Let’s face it; nobody wants to pay for legal services if they do not have to, but if you have been injured in an accident you may have thought about hiring a lawyer to help you navigate your cla...


Going home to a bully!

Finally, after three months in New Brunswick, I am back home in the sunny Okanagan. It is a delight to be home and the lake, vistas, people and climate never disappoint. Like many people however, I...


Managing a business in 40 hours a week

My screen printing business, like many others, started as a one-man operation. It was located in a small building, not much better than a shack, with a telephone, a big table where I ate lunch and (oc...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22894