Weekly Jobless Claims Dip To Near 5-Year Low

Inside A Job Fair As Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell to Five-Year Low Over Past Month
Craig Warga/Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell as expected last week, suggesting a strengthening in job gains in August after a slight pullback the prior month.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 331,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to fall to 332,000 last week.
A Labor Department analyst said no states had been estimated and there was nothing unusual in the state-level data.

The four-week moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, ticked up 750 to 331,250, still holding at a level economists associate with a strengthening labor market.

More: March On Washington 50 Years Later: Do We Have Jobs And Justice?

Initial claims have not strayed too far from the 330,000 level since mid-July, bolstering expectations of an acceleration in the pace of employment gains in August.

Hiring moderated a bit in July and a pickup this month could cement expectations the Federal Reserve will announce a scaling back of its monthly $85 billion bond-buying program at its Sept. 17-18 policy meeting. It has been making the monthly purchases to hold down interest rates.

The U.S. central bank has said it plans to start tapering the purchases later this year, but would be guided by economic data. July data on home building, industrial production and durable goods orders have missed market expectations, which economists say would only affect the size of cutbacks.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid fell 14,000 to 2.99 million in the week ended Aug. 17.

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Yippie Unemployment is at a 5 year low!!!! So, what about the 90 million Americans who gave up looking for work? or the record 8,733,461 who are now collecting Disability Benefits? What about the Labor Force Participation Rate at the lowest it's been in the last 34 years? What about the 16-19 year old's at a 32% work rate when in 1999 it was 52%? I'm happy to hear that the Unemployment numbers are going down but, what about the other numbers?

August 30 2013 at 10:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

a 6000 drop is a big dip????? When over 14 million are un or under employeed and now over 90 million elligble workers no longer participate
How data is used to spin the message

August 30 2013 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Might be time for an American Spring.

August 30 2013 at 9:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Russia says our propaganda can't be beat :)

August 30 2013 at 7:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Evidently, the Government and the statisticians don't seem to realize that new jobless claims are directly related to fewer people having jobs to lose....

August 30 2013 at 7:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ah... the much anticipated common core standards of mathematics...2 + 2 = 5....that will work right?

August 30 2013 at 2:21 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to almeters's comment

it's called Obama math.

August 30 2013 at 2:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
John Lutz

Because people have S T O P P E D ......., looking.......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 30 2013 at 1:09 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

wouldn't like to see the number of people hired each week and the number that was laid off? Of course if they have laid off just about everyone possible and have to keep a min. number to operate I guess that number will even out... no more new claims That doesn't mean there was that many hired..

August 30 2013 at 12:46 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

If Obama is trying to turn us into a socialist country, he is doing a lousy job! Shame on him.

August 29 2013 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Chub's comment

I defy you to find something he has not done a lousy job at.

August 30 2013 at 9:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This will go up. I'm not paying $10 for a cheeseburger so when the "Highly skilled" labor flipping burgers get a raise and the business goes under the unemployment claims will be rising quick....

August 29 2013 at 11:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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