Thursday, September 3rd9.6°C
27215
27181

Applications for US unemployment benefits rise to 326,000, though remain at low level

WASHINGTON - The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits jumped last week, but remained at a low level that suggests hiring should remain steady.

Applications rose 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The increase comes after applications fell to their lowest level since May 2007 two weeks ago.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dipped 1,000 to 322,500. The average reached a seven-year low of 312,000 last month. Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the low levels suggest companies are cutting few jobs.

The number of people receiving benefits fell to 2.65 million, the fewest since Dec. 1, 2007, when the recession began.

"Don't be disappointed," Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in a research note. "The trend is downwards, signalling faster payroll growth."

The recent decline in firings has been accompanied by healthier hiring. Employers are adding more jobs, though unemployment remains at historically high levels.

The economy gained 288,000 jobs in April, the most in 2 1/2 years, and the unemployment rate plunged to 6.3 per cent from 6.7 per cent. But the rate drop occurred because fewer people looked for work. The government doesn't count people as unemployed unless they are actively searching.

In the first four months of this year, employers have added an average of 214,000 jobs a month, up from 194,000 last year.

The improved hiring may help boost economic growth for the rest of 2014. More jobs means more people with paychecks to spend.

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 that has been released since then suggests that the economy actually contracted in the first quarter by as much as 0.8 per cent, analysts say.

Still, economists expect growth will accelerate to a healthy pace of about 3.5 per cent in the second quarter, as consumer spending and homebuilding rebound from the cold weather. Growth may slow a bit in the second half of the year as the bounce-back fades. But it should top 2.5 per cent for the whole year, economists forecast.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX13545.25+63.35
S&P CDNX550.05+2.08
DJIA16351.38+293.03
Nasdaq4749.98+113.87
S&P 5001948.86+35.01
CDN Dollar0.7536-0.0001
Gold1132.90+0.40
Oil46.20-0.05
Lumber235.10+1.10
Natural Gas2.654+0.006

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.22+0.05
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.19+0.01
Cantex0.04-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences1.25-0.07
Metalex Ventures0.055+0.005
Russel Metals20.87-0.34
Copper Mountain Mining0.61-0.01
Colorado Resources0.075-0.010
ReliaBrand Inc0.0045+0.0005
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02+0.00
Mission Ready Services0.08-0.01
Decisive Dividend Corp2.62+0.12

 





FEATURED Property
23469394157 Gallaghers Blvd. S
4 bedrooms 3 baths
$1,379,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Agree to ask questions

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe STORY: I think, said Janet to herself, that I just figured out a solution to my problem of letting the prospect run the meeting.With that thought in mind, she got out of her c...


Your business is not a bank

Photo: Thinkstock.comYour plumbing business is not a bank. But when you are giving terms to customers that exceed what you get from your suppliers, you become one. And every time that someone does not...


Begin with the end in mind

Photo: ContributedWe humans love our dates: birthdays, anniversaries, 9/11, the Ides of March - our lives are intimately woven within the tapestry of the calendar. So it should come as no surprise whe...

_








Member of BC Press Council


27373