U.S. Applications For Unemployment Benefits Plummet

unemployment benefits applicationsBy Christopher S. Rugaber


WASHINGTON -- The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week by the most in more than three months. The figure was a hopeful sign one day before the government releases the April jobs report.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly unemployment aid applications fell 27,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 365,000. Applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. When they fall below 375,000, it generally suggests that hiring will be strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up to 383,500 last week, the highest level since December.

Last month, applications jumped after steadily declining since the fall. At the same time, hiring slowed. Those figures had sparked concerns that the job market was worsening after strong gains during the winter. But some economists said temporary layoffs stemming from the spring holidays might have inflated benefit applications.

On Friday, analysts expect the government to report that employers added 163,000 jobs in April, while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2 percent. That would be an improvement from March, when job growth slowed to just 120,000. But it would be below the average 246,000 jobs a month added from December through February.

Many economists downplayed the March figures. They said a mild winter led employers to accelerate hiring in January and February. That made March's job figures weaker.

On Wednesday, a private survey by payroll provider ADP said that companies added only 119,000 jobs last month. The ADP report has deviated sharply from the government's figures in the past and isn't always a reliable indicator. For example, the government's estimate of 120,000 jobs created in March was much lower than ADP's estimate of 201,000.

Most economists said the ADP figures would not lead them to change their forecasts for job creation during April.

Other recent economic news has been more encouraging. A private survey this week found that the manufacturing sector expanded at the fastest pace in 10 months in April. Measures of new orders, production and exports rose. And a gauge of hiring rose to the highest level in nearly a year.

The unemployment rate has fallen to 8.2 percent in March from 9.1 percent in August. Part of the reason was that some people gave up looking for work. People who are out of work but not looking for jobs aren't counted among the unemployed.


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vnsmce

I am sick and tired of hearing that the unemployment rate is falling. If the people that are no longer receiveing benefits were counted it would be sky high! No one will give you a chance even after going back to school and getting a degree. All they holler about is experience, well we can't get experience if no one will give us a chance! Millions of tax dollars are wasted sending people back to school to retrain for a better career. So disgusted!

May 03 2012 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sstuczynsk

It is strange that the closer we get to the November, the smaller the unemployment numbers get. Somehow, millions of Americans out of work are not counted. Same goes for inflation. Our inflation rate is nest to nothing. but since our present president came into office, the method of computing inflation changes. Food, gas and other essentials are no longer counted. So much for a transparent government. Hide the facts, make up your own numbers. Andthe liberal press does nothing about it. It is a shame that real journalism is dead.

May 03 2012 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sksnyder25

I can only comment about our area and the surrounding areas. Every company I know is adding employees - not many but some. We added 4 just this week and are looking for a 5th. Small businesses are the ones doing the hiring NOT THE RICH.

May 03 2012 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PappyHappy

Obama is intent on destroying what America stands for before leaving the White House! He is screwing up royally day after day, and appears to be cooking the books on unemployment numbers!

http://bungalowbillscw.blogspot.com/2012/02/obama-is-cooking-books-on-unemployment.html

http://dewgeneral.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/obama-cooking-the-books-on-unemployment/

http://dewgeneral.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/obama-cooking-the-books-on-unemployment/

http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/obama-cooks-the-books-on-unemployment-rate-11-million-jobless-not-considered/question-2467773/

http://www.therightscoop.com/levin-obama-is-cooking-the-books-with-unemployment/

Are they all wrong?? You plot the hard numbers!

May 03 2012 at 4:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kevin Caldwell

U-6 is 14.5%

May 03 2012 at 4:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
PappyHappy

Is Team Obama simply incompetent when they are reporting unemployment claims? How could they CONSISTENTLY BE OFF, and have to revise their numbers upward the following week? Do the simply not learn by mistakes, or is there ANOTHER MOTIVE??

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2012/04/05/jobless-claims-keep-getting-revised-up/

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/04/12/weekly-initial-jobless-claims-jump-23000-from-last-announced-level/

http://seekingalpha.com/article/481261-weekly-unemployment-claims-down-6k-but-from-a-4k-upward-revision

http://seekingalpha.com/article/534441-third-week-of-unexpectedly-higher-unemployment-claims

http://m.newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2012/04/19/ap-headline-past-two-weeks-initial-unemployment-claims-soaring-aid-appli

http://www.suitablyflip.com/suitably_flip/2012/04/jobless-thursday.html

What would happen in YOUR ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT if this kind of “COUNTING” was a constant??

May 03 2012 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
D D

How is it a hopeful sign- unemployment runs out after a certain period...that does not mean people are working again!!!!

May 03 2012 at 3:07 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
mary

James, I love your dog! I have a 3 year old red dachshund, named her Daisy.

May 03 2012 at 2:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
JIM

Who writes this Bull S---, Christopher Rugaber find another job.

May 03 2012 at 2:50 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
mary

Fast food jobs, retail jobs, summer seasonal used to be enough for the high school kids. Nobody can support a family on those jobs. Everything is so out of touch, the politician are spending on themselves, TAKE, TAKE, SPEND SPEND. I agree work is work. Honest as it may be it cannot pay the bills you need 75 hrs a week, at that rate. People need to work, they spend money, the economy does well, economy does well creates more jobs...

May 03 2012 at 2:46 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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