Weekly Jobless Claims Drop to 5½ Year Low

weekly jobless claims jobs economy employment hiring unemploymentWASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly last week, touching a 5½ year low, suggesting a steadily improving labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, the lowest level since January 2008, the Labor Department said Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to rise to 345,000 last week.

While claims are extremely volatile in July because of summer auto plant shutdowns, the general tone of the report remained consistent with a pick-up in job gains.

The four-week moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 4,500 to 341,250.

Automakers traditionally close assembly plants for retooling in July, but they have either shortened the shutdown period or completely forgone the closures, throwing off the model that the government uses to adjust the data for seasonal variations.

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A Labor Department analyst said the volatility remained in the data. No states had been estimated and there was nothing unusual in the state-level data, the analyst said.

Last week's data has no bearing on Friday's employment report for July. The government's closely monitored report is expected to show nonfarm payrolls increased 184,000 last month after rising 195,000 in June, according to a Reuters survey of economists.

The jobless rate is seen ticking down a tenth of percentage point to 7.5 percent. There is a risk payrolls could surprise on the upside after a report on Wednesday showed private employers maintained a higher pace of hiring in July.

The labor market is being closely watched by the Federal Reserve, which on Wednesday offered no indication it planned to reduce its monthly $85 billion in bond purchases at its next meeting in September.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid fell 52,000 to 2.95 million in the week ended July 20.



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dkelmstra

Every time and article like this comes out we then see a few week later the opposite. It appears they hold back numbers to get a few good weeks of news then release 1 week of bad numbers so they can then release new numbers with good news. Its a game this administration plays.

August 14 2013 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dkelmstra

In other words -- WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF PEOPLE TO LAY OFF because they are all already laid off.....

August 14 2013 at 6:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ellwood145

Once again a open and blatant LIE. Just to cover up this administrations inability to get the economy going. Dems and Libs are self serving and self absorbed, me,me,me is all they care about.

August 01 2013 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
steff

Unemployment rate down, what a joke, I just laid off 4 people the end of May. Maybe unemployment benefits ended people and they are no longer in the system.

August 01 2013 at 3:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lamblion58

I don't know what country this is going on in, but it sure isn't this one.

August 01 2013 at 2:47 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
hwshockeymom

This "Jobless claims fall to a 5 year low" means nothing, because a lot of benefits have ended for the previously unemployed. This does not mean all these people have jobs now! It just means that the new batch of jobless people is lower than the last batch that have lost their benefits, and therefore are no longer counted!!! If our government really counted the number of unemployed the numbers would be so much higher!

August 01 2013 at 2:40 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
govikesatw

The reuter was a highly respectful news organization. But after this article, NO MORE!!. Your editors are bunch of idiots, or they are getting paid to write this article and that is the BOTTOM LINE!!. Irritated LIES.

August 01 2013 at 2:33 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
scotsirish1776

Last quarter's growth rated adjusted downward from 1.8% to 1.0%; current growth rate at 1.7%, yet to be downgraded. Over 20+ million unemployed Americans. The economy has been and still is pitiful. Question everything and think; don't be manipulated by either party or their minions.

August 01 2013 at 2:29 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
govikesatw

Who is the stupid writing article like this man?? You people are bunch of JOKES!!. Unemployment in this country officially is 25Million people!!. Highest since 1930 level.Government knows this numbers as well. You people learn the real news, or reporting real news from O\'reilly. This is not a reporting. This is a total lie or misleading the general public. I strongly believe someone get paid to write this article. Shame, shame, shame.

August 01 2013 at 2:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to govikesatw's comment
chris1011

You believe O'Reilly, an entertainer? WoW! This country really is in trouble when people like that are in charge of the news...

August 01 2013 at 2:30 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
liondog96

Where's the CHANGE? You dumb, worthless president!

August 01 2013 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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