Thursday, May 28th27.5°C
26427
25263

Applications for US unemployment benefits dipped last week, latest sign of scant layoffs

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits declined last week, the latest evidence that a sharp economic slowdown earlier this year hasn't caused employers to cut jobs.

Weekly unemployment benefit applications fell 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 2,000 to 314,000.

The average has fallen 9 per cent since the beginning of this year. Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the declines indicate that companies are cutting fewer jobs.

The figures come a day after the government said the economy shrank at a 2.9 per cent annual rate in the first three months of the year, the worst reading since early 2009, when the U.S. was mired in the depths of the recession.

The number of people actually receiving benefits inched up by 12,000 to 2.57 million. But the small increase comes after the level fell to a six-year low in the previous week.

When businesses are confident enough to keep staff, they are also likely to hire more people.

The low level of applications indicates employers haven't been rattled by the first quarter's dismal showing, which many economists have partly blamed on bad weather. If businesses feared the economy was tumbling into a recession, they would likely ramp up layoffs.

Instead, they are hiring at a healthy pace. Employers added 217,000 jobs in May, the fourth straight month of gains above 200,000. That's the first such stretch since 1999. The unemployment rate remained 6.3 per cent in May, the lowest in more than five years.

Other data also suggest the economy has recovered from the bad first quarter. Factory output is rising, auto sales have reached a nine-year high and businesses are ordering more equipment.

Most analysts forecast the economy will expand at a 3.5 per cent annual rate or higher in the April-June quarter, and at a 3 per cent rate in the second half of the year.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

24947


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15107.00-3.47
S&P CDNX692.16+1.54
DJIA18126.12-36.87
Nasdaq5097.98-8.62
S&P 5002120.79-2.69
CDN Dollar0.8048+0.0002
Gold1187.40-16.90
Oil58.90+0.53
Lumber274.20+1.70
Natural Gas2.81-0.01

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.14+0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.48-0.02
Cantex0.03-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.40-0.02
Metalex Ventures0.07-0.01
Russel Metals25.20-0.31
Copper Mountain Mining1.30+0.02
Colorado Resources0.10-0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.0129-0.0010
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04+0.01
Mission Ready Services0.15-0.00
Decisive Dividend Corporation2.10+0.16

 



26181

FEATURED Property
22981161028 Westpoint Drive
10099309 bedrooms
$465,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


What's a robo-advisor?

Photo: ContributedIt can only be attributable to human error. -Hal, 2001: A Space Odyssey For most of us who are within thinking distance of retirement, the term “robo” conjures up image...


Cash stressed seniors

Photo: Thinkstock.comFor many Canadian homeowners, their house represents the biggest portion of their net worth. Now, increasing numbers of seniors are starting to recognize the hidden value of their...


Penetrate the smokescreen

Photo: ContributedHas this ever happened to you? You’re in the middle of your second or third “good discussion” with a prospect. Everything’s going great. The prospect seems en...

_



26418




Member of BC Press Council


25690