Jobless Claims Drop, Suggesting Improved Hiring Outlook

By Christopher S. Rugaber

WASHINGTON -- The number of people seeking unemployment aid last week fell to its lowest level since mid-May, suggesting layoffs are easing and hiring could pick up.

The Labor Department says weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped by 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 374,000, the fewest since the week of May 19. The four-week average, which smooths out weekly fluctuations, dropped by 1,500 to 385,750.

Weekly benefit applications serve as a measure of the pace of layoffs. When applications consistently fall below 375,000, it generally suggests hiring is strong enough to reduce the unemployment rate.

Unemployment benefit applications declined steadily over the winter, coinciding with a burst of hiring. But they rose in the spring and were stuck near 390,000 for five weeks. During that time, the job market slumped.

Employers added an average of only 73,000 jobs a month in April and May. That's much lower than the average of 226,000 added in the first three months of the year.

The government will release the June jobs report Friday. Economists forecast that employers added only 90,000 jobs last month and the unemployment stayed at 8.2 percent, according to FactSet.

There were other signs Thursday that hiring may have picked up in June.

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Payroll provider ADP says businesses added 176,000 jobs last month. That's better than the revised total of 136,000 jobs it reported for May.

But the survey has often deviated sharply from the government report. In May, the Labor Department said employers added just 69,000 jobs, the fewest in a year and nearly half ADP's estimate. The ADP report only covers hiring in the private sector and excludes government job growth.

And most other recent economic data haven't been encouraging.

Retailers are reporting weak sales for June as worries about the economy and jobs are making shoppers pull back on spending. The results raise concerns about Americans' ability to spend for the back-to-school shopping season. Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a gain below Wall Street expectations. Target Corp. also missed estimates, posting a modest increase. Teen retailer Wet Seal Inc. reported a bigger-than-anticipated decline.

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The manufacturing sector contracted in June for the first time in three years, the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group, said Monday. Export orders fell, a sign that Europe's debt crisis and weaker growth in big emerging markets, like China and India, are slowing overseas demand for U.S. goods.

Overall, new orders plunged by the most in a decade, the ISM report showed. That suggests domestic demand for manufactured goods is also falling.

The economy isn't growing fast enough to support stronger job gains. It expanded at a 1.9 percent pace in the first three months of the year. That's down from a 3 percent pace in the final quarter of last year.

A closely watched private survey released last week showed consumer confidence fell in June for the fourth straight month. The Conference Board said worries about the job market outweighed lower gas prices and steady improvement in the housing market.

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The reason the jobless rate is lower, is those that can't find a job have dropped off the grid. Am I the pnly on who can see this?

July 10 2012 at 4:03 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Another obvious series of LIES by the LYING LIARS WHO LIE AND LIE FOR OBAMA!

Pathetic. They piss on your shoe and tell you its raining money.

July 10 2012 at 4:34 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Well is guess the media can say the joblessness number is less but a piddling amount to get the country back even to where it was when Pres Obama came to office it will take hundreds of thousands of new jobs and first of all a totally new president along with the rest of government.

July 09 2012 at 10:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Of course this article doesn't mention people who went off unemployment because the have a couple of part time jobs, or those just underemployed. How about our new grads, too early to count them? And of course you have people that have run out of benefits or just stopped looking for work.

Or another FLUFF article for Obama by Huffington post

July 09 2012 at 11:38 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Heres a stupid article Why you ask ! there are less claims because there are less people to layoff 2 the poele who have exhusted their claims are no longer counted 3 Someone pleas list all the jobs that where created becauuse no one seems to know where they are 4 This on record there are more unemployed now then there were last month check or no check 5 All the electronics busnesses have already stated that there will be large amount of layoffs and more jobs going off shore The word they use SUGGESTING MEANS SQUAT Big Cities are alll having high unemployment problems of over 20% The real unemployment is not 8.2 but doubled that in real numbers Another bad article

July 09 2012 at 9:43 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

America added 80,000 jobs in June.
America added 85,000 welfare people just due to "disability ".
Does not look like Obama knows what he is doing.......

July 09 2012 at 9:15 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Jobless Claims Drop, Suggesting Improved Hiring Outlook.

Atta boy Huffy.... helping the cause to keep Barry as the worst ever... Now. how many are off the rolls for jobs? How many new folks are on public assistance??/

Does Huffy really want more of this???


July 09 2012 at 8:08 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

Our economy and its problems really have nothing to do with Obama. This all goes back to 1971 when tricky Dick took America off the gold standard to prevent a collapse in the economy that was to happen at that time and should have. Instead the communist hating Republicans staved off the collapse 38 years until George Bush was making his exit in September 2008. Remember what Steve Jobs told the politicians before he died. America is history. We are in a depression folks with no end in sight and no one is going to save you except you. I might remind you that Wall Street is still not done outsourcing America. I would suggest not spending money you do not have and pay off your bills if you can.

July 08 2012 at 6:48 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to derwin's comment

Blame it all on the past and dead men. Typical. Romney is the only answer to lead this Country back on solid financial footing, but of course it's racist to say that. It's even more racist to vote for Romney.

July 09 2012 at 8:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ilm9p's comment

Kind of like Obama blaming everyone but his policies for his failure.

July 09 2012 at 11:34 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down

People have run out of unemployment. The Obama-economy is steadily running out of people to lay off.

Even the phony "unemployment rate" went UP last month to 8.2%!

AOL/HuffPuff works for Obama. Every story is "spun" (LIED) about. The facts show more DISASTROUS news from the OBAMA ECONOMY.

July 08 2012 at 3:10 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

More Obama propaganda LIES from the Obama Leftist Media.

A measly 80,000 jobs opened up. 84,000 went on Social Security Disability (Medicare) because their Unemployent Insurance ran out!

HuffPuff, and AP are Obama LIARS.

July 08 2012 at 2:57 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

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