U.S. Jobless Claims Drop To 5-Year Low

unemployment claims jobless

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits tumbled to a five-year low last week, a hopeful sign for the sluggish labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 335,000, the lowest level since January 2008, the Labor Department said on Thursday. It was the largest weekly drop since February 2010.

The prior week's claims figure was revised to show 1,000 more applications than previously reported.

While last week's decline ended four straight weeks of increases, it is probably not the start of a new trend or a sign of a material shift in labor market conditions as claims tend to be very volatile around this time of the year.

This is because of large swings in the model used by the department to iron out seasonal fluctuations.

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A Labor Department analyst said the model had expected a large increase in claims last week, but the actual number of filings only showed a modest increase, leading to a big decline in the seasonally adjusted figure.

He said there was nothing unusual in the state level data and that no states had been estimated.

The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, fell 6,750 to 359,250, suggesting some improvement in underlying labor market conditions.

More: Don't Move Here: 5 Cities With The Highest Unemployment

The claims data covered the survey week for January's nonfarm payrolls. Job growth has been gradual, with employers adding 155,000 new positions in December. The unemployment rate held steady at 7.8 percent last month.

Job gains averaged 153,000 jobs per month in 2012, little changed from 2011. The sluggish labor market and subdued inflation pressures are likely to keep the Federal Reserve on its ultra easy monetary policy course.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid increased 87,000 to 3.21 million in the week ended Jan. 5.

The four-week average of the so-called continuing claims was the lowest since July 2008.

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February 01 2013 at 12:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All hype and no reality. These numbers include just about worthless part time jobs with no benefits. There are no real full time jobs being added. Also no mention in the rise in people who are being transfered onto disability roles. Nor recent grads who do not count in the calculation because they never worked before.
We are playing musical chairs with these jobs and no progress is being made to create new jobs which pay the bills.

January 31 2013 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

as wellfare skyrockets out of control above 47%

January 18 2013 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you believe this funny math, I have a bridge to sell you. Almost all media cover Obama's backside every chance they get. Try tellling this drop in unemployment to all the poor souls I know out there who can't get a job. This is while Obama and Biden are trying to take your constitutional rights away..

January 18 2013 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Liars figure, & figures lie

January 18 2013 at 12:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

When adjusted for reality there were more long term unemployed being dropped from unemployment rolls than were being added fresh. Gotta love how they doctor the numbers to tell you whatever they want you to hear.

January 18 2013 at 11:47 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ric's comment

Pay attention would you. The article PLAINLY states NEW applications fell. It doesn't say anything about being on unemployments for months and months.

January 18 2013 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hello Eileen

Yeah, but last week, the number was bumped up to 372,000 after all data was collected. Don't hang your hat on this number too much because it will probably go up. It is rather interesting that no one gets concerned that every week, between 340,000 and 380,000 unemployed workers are signing up for unemployment. Unfortunately, I believe the American public is now buying into mediocrity.

January 18 2013 at 10:46 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Quick, quick what does Fox News have to say about this I need to know so I can speak about this.

January 18 2013 at 10:13 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nanan1937's comment

i'm not sure what they'll have to say but at least it will be the truth. and it wont have to be approved by the white house first.

January 18 2013 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I laugh when I see articles like this. Of course the number of claims went down, in reality the number of people collecting, when the benefits run out. It is a natural progression that the numbers drop from a high when one does not qualify for anymore benefits. A better key indicator of the nations masses would be the number of people collecting food stamps considering the numbers continue to rise. unemploymeny rates are a joke and anyone who bases success on them is an idiot.

January 18 2013 at 10:07 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to occhurchpastor's comment

The article says NEW CLAIMS went down. Not claims in general - NEW claims. Good grief can't anyone posting on this site read?

January 18 2013 at 12:24 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sksnyder25's comment

just maybe you need to read a little more. the reason that the claims went down is not because unemployement went down it's still at 8.5 plus% or higher. but because a lot of peoples benifites ran out and also a lot of people just quit trying to renew there claims. now i don't know if anyone on this post can read or not but i do know that you can't understand what your reading.

January 18 2013 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

I understand exactly what you are saying. They have started reporting on the number of new applications only and many people read this as unemployment is at its lowest instead of reading what the press has printed that this number is only the number of new applications. Its the press at work again (not exactly lying, but just not telling the whole truth) which they know many people will accept as good news for the job market because they are not reading the article as written. I would like to see what the actual number is--new applications plus the number that dropped out because they no longer qualify but still have not found a job and are forced onto the welfare rolls.

January 24 2013 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

if you count all the people not getting unemployment,,the figures would be astranomical.

January 18 2013 at 9:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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