Weekly Jobless Claims Fall To Near 6-Year Low

weekly jobless claims hiring economy labor market job seekingWASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a near six-year low last week, hinting at a pick-up in job growth in early August.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000, the lowest level since October 2007, 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 come in at 335,000 last week.

A Labor Department analyst said no states had been estimated and there was nothing unusual in the state-level data. He said there was less volatility in the data linked to automobile plant shutdowns that had plagued claims in July.

The four-week moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 4,000 to 332,000, the lowest level since November 2007.

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The drop in both new applications and the four-week average offered hope of an improvement in labor market conditions after hiring slowed a bit in July.

The job market is being closely monitored for clues when the Federal Reserve might make an announcement on the future of its monthly $85 billion in bond purchases that it is making to keep borrowing costs low.

The U.S. central bank has said it plans to start scaling back on the program this year.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid declined 54,000 to 2.97 million in the week ended Aug 3.

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Just Me

As I understand it, if you have been out of work for 18 months or longer, you are not considered "jobless" or unemployed. What a wonderful way of manipulating the numbers to argue improvement. "Hope", "Change"...ya, hope for truth, hope for a new administration asap!

August 16 2013 at 1:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And 332,000 new jobless claims is good??? Fewer and fewer Americans working and this is supposed to be good news?

August 15 2013 at 4:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Charles's comment

We liberals love the spin even though it makes us dizzy.

August 15 2013 at 8:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So the economy is wonderful. Ask a looney lib.

August 15 2013 at 3:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Crash Dummy

The numbers given to determine the unemployment "rate" that continues to "fall" are laughable! I have been out of work for over 2 years, thus no longer eligible for benefits. With the chaos surrounding the healthcare laws; my chances for full time versus part time work are less likely. My health insurance premiums have risen from $316 to $577 per month; so trying to convince me the new law is "saving" me money is like p***ing on my leg and telling me it's raining! My elderly Mom is covered by both Medicare and BC/BS thanks to my deceased father's retirement; however now when she has to visit the hospital we are required to take her medicine; and the tests required to determine what might be happening aren't allowed/covered by Medicare for the most part. If she didn't have the BC/BS as a backup, she would probably be sent home with "end of life" counseling. My Mom might not be important to the people who voted for the new healthcare law, but she's important to us. I thought the term "death panels" was harsh but now wondering how accurate it might have been. I'm neither "Republican or an ideologue".

August 15 2013 at 3:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

20 million more people were working in 2007 when democrats took over both houses. I the seven years 'progressives' have been in control 20 million people have left the job market in despair. Thank democrats and thank Obama. Blacks have a fifty percent unemployment rate. Thank democrats!

August 15 2013 at 1:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

And the number of full time meaningful jobs (not fast food etc) in 2008 compared to this phony rodeo clowns number of folks in good jobs is what???

August 15 2013 at 10:55 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

this means 1,280,000 lost their jobs this month, it's still sad...

August 15 2013 at 10:30 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dwight's comment

But since totsl employment increased, more than 1,280,000 found new jobs this month. No so sad....

August 15 2013 at 10:39 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to pgile's comment

Would you like fries with that 28 hour a week minimum wage job... ???/ Thanks Rodeo Clown...

August 15 2013 at 10:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

Where are you getting this stat of 1,280,000 people getting new jobs this month? With only about 140,000 new jobs created each month and people dropping out of the job hunting market in despair, the actual stated unemployment rate is a fallacy/joke. It can't be believed.

August 15 2013 at 2:18 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down

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