Friday, August 28th16.3°C
27271
27193

Applications for US unemployment benefits increase to 311k; averages at pre-recession levels

WASHINGTON - More people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, although jobless claims continue to be close to pre-recession levels.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid climbed 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 311,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The prior week's was revised up slightly to 290,000.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 2,000 to 295,750. That continues to be close to averages that predate the beginning of the Great Recession in late 2007.

"Stepping back from the weekly volatility," said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, "the trend is still very encouraging and points to continued job growth."

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. When fewer employers shed workers, it suggests potentially rising incomes, increased hiring activity and confidence that the economy is improving.

Employers are searching for more workers.

In June, they advertised the most monthly job openings in more than 13 years, the government reported Tuesday. Employers posted 4.67 million jobs that month, up 2.1 per cent from May's total of 4.58 million, according to the Labor Department. The number of advertised openings was the highest since February 2001, suggesting that hiring should continue to be solid in the coming months.

Still, the openings report showed that the hiring rate has not risen over the past year as quickly as the number of positions being advertised.

Job openings have increased 17.6 per cent during the past 12 months, while hiring has risen 9.3 per cent during the same period.

Yet the monthly net job gains have been solid in the past six months.

Employers added 209,000 jobs in July, the sixth straight month of job gains above 200,000. The economy has now produced an average 244,000 jobs a month since February.

The recent spurt of hiring has encouraged more people to start looking for work, causing the unemployment rate to inch up to 6.2 per cent from 6.1 per cent. The government only counts people searching for jobs as unemployed.

Hiring has yet to boost wages by much. Wage growth has slightly outpaced inflation since the recession ended more than five years ago.

But the greater the number of people with jobs, the greater the total number of paychecks, which could drive consumer spending and growth.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX13766.67+385.08
S&P CDNX545.55+15.85
DJIA16654.77+369.26
Nasdaq4812.71+115.17
S&P 5001987.66+47.15
CDN Dollar0.7579+0.0006
Gold1119.50-5.10
Oil42.83+0.27
Lumber240.80-6.10
Natural Gas2.688+0.024

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.165+0.005
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.24+0.05
Cantex0.04-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences1.35+0.00
Metalex Ventures0.055+0.000
Russel Metals20.98+1.54
Copper Mountain Mining0.65+0.06
Colorado Resources0.075-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.004-0.000
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.025+0.005
Mission Ready Services0.07+0.01
Decisive Dividend Corp2.61-0.12

 



25990

FEATURED Property
2364374742 Francis Ave
2 bedrooms 2 baths
$419,000
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...

_



27313

27313


Member of BC Press Council


24697