Weekly Jobless Claims Fall; No More Backlog of Unprocessed Claims

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Weekly Jobless Claims
David Goldman/AP
By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 305,000, the second-lowest level in six years. Steady declines in applications show that very few companies are laying off workers.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average declined 7,000 to 308,000, the lowest since June 2007.

All states reported their first-time applications on time, a department spokesman said. Applications plummeted three weeks ago because computer upgrades in California and Nevada prevented them from fully reporting their data. Those states have cleared their backlogs, the spokesman said.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. Fewer layoffs suggest employers are confident enough to maintain their staffing levels. But companies have been reluctant to take the next step and ramp up hiring.

In fact, job gains have slowed in recent months. Employers have added an average of just 155,000 jobs a month since April. That's down from an average of 205,000 for the first four months of the year.

More: Can An Employer Force You To Quit?

The unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent in August, from 7.4 percent in the previous month. But the drop mostly occurred because more Americans stopped working or looking for jobs. The government doesn't count people as unemployed unless they are actively searching for work.

The economy may be growing too slowly to generate stronger hiring. It expanded at a 2.5 percent annual pace from April to June, the Commerce Department reported today. That is up from a meager 1.1 percent annual rate from January through March. For the first six months of the year, the economy has grown at a rate of just 1.8 percent.

Economists worry that growth is slowing to an annual rate of 2 percent or less in the current July-September quarter. If correct, that would mark the third quarter in the last four that the annual growth rate has fallen to 2 percent or below, an abnormally low level of economic growth.

About 3.9 million Americans received unemployment aid in the week ended Sept. 7, about 23,000 more than the previous week. That total has fallen 32 percent in the past year. Some recipients likely found jobs, but many have simply used up all the unemployment benefits available to them.


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john&jan

this is not true and most of us know it to be a lie.who ever wrote this ,needs to go stand in line and see if they can get help. what a jerk off.

September 28 2013 at 5:34 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
svhtwo

This is just more garbage numbers put up by the left wing democrats. A majority of people have given up looking for work. These numbers do not take that into account. When people start stating numbers and percentages be very very cautious about actually taking them as fact. Most statements like this are promotional and not factual.

September 28 2013 at 2:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
walt

What a load of BS. 8 million less jobs after Obama took office. If they count payroll taxes being paid like under Bush the unemployment rate is in the high 11%.

September 27 2013 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to walt's comment
Joel

You are so right Walt. Anyone who defends Obama and the rest of the government is very disillusioned. It's easy for them to say all this due to the rise in part-time positions being invoked on the job market. They fail to tell us that.

September 28 2013 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
William

Since Obama took office, welfare ranks have risen by 32% and food stamps allotments have increased by 70% This year, in the first 4 months, 500,000 additional people have went on disability.
It doesn't take a rocket science to see why the unemployment numbers are down....Obama has taken a large portion of the public and given them government assistence. Why work when you can stay home and get paid? (as long as you vote democratic)

September 27 2013 at 10:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
gvbv

The department of commerce are a bunch of junk info spinners that will report whatever garbage the white house wants, so why does anyone pay attention to anything they report? Its just covering up whats really happening, a record number of people have been looking for so long for a decent job and failed so they've simply given up......... this is what destruction Obama and his handlers want to wreak on America, and he's having some success at it, unfortunately.

September 27 2013 at 10:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jshedl10411

Why not offer an extension for those who have exhausted their benefits then publish a report of those who had signed up for the extension. More realistic numbers would be available.

September 27 2013 at 10:27 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Henry

This is Horse S**t, it aint't even good Bull S**t!

September 27 2013 at 9:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
aljoramaggio

Well if unemployment insurance and extensions are running out, that might explain a good part of it.

September 27 2013 at 9:48 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
fm1alpine

more Americans stopped working or looking for work. life in the Great obama Depression.

September 27 2013 at 9:10 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fm1alpine's comment
Henry

How about the Great Reganomics Depression!! That's better and tells the truth!!

September 27 2013 at 9:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Kris

Go to the Real Time Debt Clock page on the internet if you want to learn just how many people are unemployed versus what our government wants us all to believe. Official 11.2 million, Actual 21.2 million Obama and Co dont like these kinds of facts, they get in the way of their truth!!

September 27 2013 at 9:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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