Hopeful Sign For Jobs: Unemployment Claims Fall To 4-Year Low

unemployment claims drop

By Jason Lange

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week fell sharply to the lowest level in four years, a hopeful sign for the struggling labor market, government data showed on Thursday. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 350,000, the Labor Department said.

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The drop, which brought new claims to their lowest level since March 2008, was much steeper than Wall Street economists expected.

The prior week's figure was revised slightly higher to 376,000 from the previously reported 374,000.

Hiring by U.S. companies slowed dramatically in the second quarter as employers grew worried about Europe's snowballing debt crisis, which is weighing on the global economy. Many employers also are concerned over the possibility that the U.S. government may cut spending and let tax cuts expire next year, which could send the economy into recession.

The level of new claims for unemployment insurance was the lowest since March 2008 -- the early days of the 2007-2009 recession.

The fall in claims data suggests that while employers are holding the line on hiring, at least they aren't picking up the pace of layoffs. That could boost hopes that the stalling in job creation might prove temporary.

Still, the jobless claims data had an important caveat.

A Labor Department official noted that part of the drop might be due to some auto manufacturers keeping their plants open during the first week of July to meet demand.

Normally plant closures during that week would lead to a spike in jobless claims, but they did not materialize. That suggests part of the strength in the labor market last week might be due to temporary factors.

The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, fell 9,750 to 376,500. That is still a significant drop, although the average is only at its lowest since May.

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If I could make money off of the crap the gov is feeding me, I would not have financial difficulties!

July 27 2012 at 6:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This reminds me of the gov stats telling me that there is low inflation. After discounting utilities, food, energy. What a crock.

July 12 2012 at 8:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tired of hearing "Bush's fault". It's been almost 4 yrs people. Why doesn't this "reporter" report on how many people have filed for disability after running out of unemployment. How many people have used up all of their benefits? How many have given up looking for a job? If Obama gets reelected, we will be hashing over the same statistics, nothing will get better. If you know you're going to hit the wall and crash, wouldn't you want to try something different? Remember, he did tell us in his first campaign, if he couldn't fix the problems, he would be a one term prez. Apparently another lie he told us. the list is long. fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

July 12 2012 at 8:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Baron hans Vongress

UE NUMBERS ARE FALSE even the govt will tell you that they are not accurate.
They take a weird type of sampling versus demanding from each state to report on a weekly/monthly basis the following data
Initial Filing claims
Denied claims
People still on UE
People who have exhausted their benefits
People who just said the hell with it.
Until you have each of these pieces of data firmly in hand you are playing as usual smoke and mirrors.
They release numbers 1 day and 30-60 days later they do an adjustment.
Trust the government to be honest yeah right and I will show you 545 arses in DC who rule 300 million sheeple americans like trained seals....
The numbers will keep going down with pressure from odumber etc.
We must demand true and accurate data and not feel good crap...gives us the truth.
The UE rate is really over 14% of total Americans.

July 12 2012 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Federal Government is only releasing the U-3 Seasonably Adjusted Unemployment rate of 8.2% when the real number, the U-6 which includes those who have been out of work and have lost ALL unemployment benefits is 15.1%. Please do your research, and go to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics if you have to find out the truth...never rely on the Government putting out the real Unemployment Number, especially after this Administration gets done massaging the number to get it as low as possible.

The other thing you should check out, is how many people went on Disability compared to the supposed number of People who are counted as getting "Jobs" in a month...You may be surprised to find out we are losing more Jobs than the Government (and this Administration especially) claim.

July 12 2012 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about all the people that just gave up looking for jobs,unemployment is a lot higher than they are saying.

July 12 2012 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Unemployment does look good for Obama. But I suppose he'll find some kind of work in Chicago by next year. Is Operation Push still in business?

July 12 2012 at 8:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think this is nothing more than another example of how out of touch with reality this Administration is. Seriously, unemployment is down? Where?

Those folks who have exhausted their unemployment benefits are not counted, nor are those who are under employed.

This Administration has not created jobs. Please, do they really think we're buying this crap??? Seriously???

July 12 2012 at 8:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It fell because just about everyone that can be let go has been, i wouldn't view that as a very positive sign. Eventually you reach a point where companies, unless they are going out of business, are about as lean as they can be

July 12 2012 at 8:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Since when did it change. A lot of unemployment benefits ran out, but that doesn't mean they are working.

July 12 2012 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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