Thursday, October 23rd12.5°C
23711

Applications for US jobless aid fall by 14K to 298K, another sign the job market is healing

WASHINGTON - Fewer people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, another sign the job market is improving.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly claims for jobless aid fell 14,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 298,000. The prior week's figures were revised up slightly to 311,000.

The less-volatile four-week average rose 4,750 to 300,750. It remains close to levels that predate the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs.

"Readings at or below the (300,000) mark are extremely rare in an historical context," Robert Kavcic, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a note to clients. "Going back to 1990, we've seen it only for a short period during the height of the technology bubble and very briefly in early 2006 when the housing market boom was peaking."

Employers aren't just keeping workers. They're hiring, too. They added 209,000 jobs in July, the sixth straight month that job gains exceeded 200,000. The economy has generated 244,000 new jobs a month since February.

The recent hiring has encouraged more people to look for work, causing July's unemployment rate to rise to 6.2 per cent from 6.1 per cent in June. The government counts only 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 more jobs mean more people getting paychecks, which could drive consumer spending and economic growth.

The economy has shown other signs of improvement. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that U.S. home construction rose to an eight-month high in July, regaining momentum after two months of declines.

And some Federal Reserve think the economy is healing fast enough that Fed should act sooner than previously thought to reduce the extraordinary support it's been providing the economy through super-low interest rates.

Minutes of the Fed's discussion at its July 29-30 meeting released Wednesday showed that some officials thought the Fed would need "to call for a relatively prompt move" to reduce the stimulus it has supplied since the financial crisis erupted in 2008. Otherwise, these officials felt the Fed risked overshooting its targets for unemployment and inflation.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23028


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14514.80+202.729
S&P CDNX807.14-0.86
DJIA16763.38302.06
Nasdaq4473.879+91.032
S&P 5001961.27+34.16
CDN Dollar0.8899+0.0004
Gold1228.90-16.60
Oil81.36+1.23
Lumber330.30+1.60
Natural Gas3.621-0.038

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.105-0.015
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.17+0.02
Cantex0.065+0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.1980.00
Metalex Ventures0.04-0.01
Russel Metals33.21+0.68
Copper Mountain Mining2.08-0.02
Colorado Resources0.14-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.013+0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.40-0.005

 



23216

FEATURED Property
2106754107-567 Yates Road
1 bedrooms 1 baths
$197,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Weakening global growth worries

The Big Picture Growth worries persist Worries about weakening global growth and its potential impact on the US economic recovery roiled markets around the globe this week. Europe continues to be the ...


Keep it rubber side down

This time of year, I always worry about which friends of mine will get caught going off the road in adverse weather conditions. With a little preparation most accidents can be avoided. Having won the...


Big bank predicts rate hike

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe end of record-low rates is nigh, according to one major bank, which has taken a stance and predicted when the Bank of Canada will raise its long-standing overnight rate. &ldq...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22771