Thursday, October 2nd3.9°C
22738
22497

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

22364


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14690.38-115.061
S&P CDNX887.67-8.68
DJIA16793.92-10.79
Nasdaq4421.086-1.00
S&P 5001944.74-1.42
CDN Dollar0.8968+0.0012
Gold1212.40-3.10
Oil87.79-1.32
Lumber344.40+6.60
Natural Gas3.977-0.046

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.15+0.015
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.26+0.04
Cantex0.06-0.015
Anavex Life Sciences0.1805+0.0001
Metalex Ventures0.0550.00
Russel Metals34.75+0.07
Copper Mountain Mining2.20-0.09
Colorado Resources0.16-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.019-0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.065+0.045
Mission Ready Services0.31-0.01

 





FEATURED Property
2089647750 Francis
5 bedrooms 4 baths
$398,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


An income investment you may have overlooked

Investors seeking income often limit their selection to bonds and give little or no consideration to preferred shares. They usually ignore preferreds simply because they don't know much about them...


Power-save your way to a down payment

Part 2 of 2 to read Part 1, click here. 5. Dial down your vacations. New York is out. Maybe Buffalo. For West coast, maybe Seattle instead of Hawaii. Use sites like Airbnb (aribnb.ca) to find ch...


A wildly successful manufacturer

Niche food producer “Sweets from the Earth” thrives using innovation, uniqueness and an unwavering focus on quality. A neighbour’s stew turned Ilana Kadonoff off meat at the age of s...

_



23545




Member of BC Press Council


23504