U.S. Jobless Claims At 5-Year Low, Job Market Healing

jobless claims unemployment

WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell to its lowest since the early days of the 2007-09 recession, a hopeful sign for the sluggish labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 330,000, the lowest level since January 2008, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims have now fallen for two straight weeks, suggesting that if employers are concerned tax hikes enacted this year will affect consumer demand, this is not leading to more layoffs.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected claims to rise to 355,000 last week.

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Economists have cautioned about reading too deeply into this month's figures, as claims tend to be 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.

A measure of labor market trends nonetheless pointed to an improvement in the labor market's health. The four-week moving average for new claims fell 8,250 to 351,750, the lowest since March 2008.

A Labor Department analyst said claims data were estimated for three states last week, but there was nothing unusual in the state level data.

Claims are now at roughly the same level they were in much of 2006 and 2007. Claims started trending higher around December 2007, the month that the country's recession began.

More: Unemployment To Hit All-Time High In 2013

However, while employers have pulled back on layoffs, they have only added jobs to the economy at a lackluster pace.

Employers adding 155,000 new positions in December and the unemployment rate held steady at 7.8 percent.

Job gains averaged 153,000 jobs per month in 2012, little changed from 2011. The sluggish labor market and subdued inflation pressures appear 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 dropped 71,000 to 3.16 million in the week ended Jan. 12.


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302 Comments

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sco2260

Since 2008 food stamp recipients have increased from 36 million to 47 million. 11 million were taken off the unemployment stats and placed on the entitlement stats. Americans have long rendered basic math politically incorrect.

January 30 2013 at 7:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JERRY GREVAS

The job market is not healing, you JERK OFF'S, they are not reporting the people who dropped of the unimployment rolls due to no longer being able to qualify for more benifits. HOW DUMB DO THEY THINK WE ARE? I guess damn dumb to think we will buy into the crap. More BS from our Presedent and Congress. As the US goes down the drain, those in Washington think we are a bunch of BUMKINS out here. LET"S GET REAL?

January 29 2013 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dalia

After reading the article it sounds like we are slowly seeing more jobs being created which is causing the unemployment rate to go down. Even though some people are skeptical about this, because they haven't really seen a change since the recession started, they should be happy that at least we are improving. The economy is not going to change over night so people shouldn't be too judgemental and always be so negative. It's probably going to take years for the economy to really improve and get to how it was years ago. However, for now it looks like it's heading in the right direction, so all we can do is hope that it keeps heading that way and that we make good decisions when it comes to it.

January 28 2013 at 9:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Francisca

I think it's a great idea that the numbers are going down of unemployment, but we still need it to decrease. I believe unemployment will decrease more if companies start employing citizens instead of seeking people from other countries.

January 28 2013 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Beatriz Perez

After reading this article it inspired me to inform others not to give up on searching for jobs. Because more jobs are being opened to the public. But then I see the comments below on how this article may not even have true facts about the economy, which then makes me think if its really just to make us feel relieved about having more job opportunities than before. In the end nobody really know if its true or not except for the government. To my point of view we are rising from the recession little by little. It may be going slow, but its better than not rising from it at all.

January 28 2013 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Miguel najera

Everything would be just perfect if the government would just tell us whats really going on in the economy. This article really busted my confidence up a whole bunch because as I become an adult I start to worry about what kind of job Im going to have, am I going to be unemployed or employed. It put a warm feeling in my heart to know that we Are slowly coming out of the recession. As the years pass by the recession gets better and better in getting people employed.

January 28 2013 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mireille Niob

Reading this article, hope comes in my mind because of these percentage. Unemployment is slowly falling down, and we can expect to see the country rising up from this recession, and people get a better future. People need to trust employers and politics. However, the efforts made in both side, politics and employers to get the country out of this difficult situation are commendable.

January 27 2013 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Daisy Rendon

Daisy Rendon
I really hope the government would tell us the truth about our economy and not just tell us something they think we want to hear. The percentage they're talking about sounds good and I hope its correct,if it is our economy might get out of it dept in the next 20-35 year. It's relieving to know that our country will get better,even if it is at a slow pace.

January 27 2013 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jesus Belmonte

Although the article may list some credible facts, I believe that it is too abrupt to assume that the American Job Market is healing. The reason for these low number of claims for unemployment benefits, since the recession during the second Bush Administration, is because of “large swings in the model used by the department to iron out seasonal fluctuations.” Therefore, these low number of claims for unemployment benefits should last briefly during the tax season but the continuation for this is improbable.

January 27 2013 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Silverio

As the Economy gets worse more people will keep getting laid off and be forced to leave there job. I just hope our Economy gets fixed fast because i don't want to lose any money.

January 27 2013 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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