Weekly Jobless Claims Drop Unexpectedly in Latest Week

Unemployment Benefits
Alan Diaz/AP
By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining traction.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000 for the week ended July 12, the Labor Department said Thursday.
The prior week's claims were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless aid rising to 310,000 last week.

The four-weak average of claims, considered a better gauge of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 3,000 to 309,000, the lowest level since June 2007.

Claims tend to be volatile around the period after the July 4 holiday, when automakers normally shut down plants for retooling. A Labor Department analyst, however, said there were no special factors influencing the state level data.

The claims data covered the survey week for July nonfarm payrolls. Claims fell 12,000 between the June and July survey period, suggesting another month of solid job gains after June's hefty 288,000 increase.

Employment has grown by more than 200,000 jobs in each of the last five months, a stretch not seen since the late 1990s.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen cautioned Tuesday the Fed could raise interest rates sooner and more rapidly than currently envisioned if the labor market continued to improve faster than anticipated by policymakers.

Economists currently don't expect the U.S. central bank to start raising interest rates before the second half of 2015. The Fed, which is wrapping up its monthly bond buying program, has kept overnight lending rates near zero since December 2008.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell 79,000 to 2.51 million in the week ended July 5, the lowest level since June 2007.

The unemployment rate for people receiving jobless benefits fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 1.9 percent during the same period.

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Iselin007

In the real world you don't need a Resume for a crap job. Pushing Resumes for most of the crap job seekers is just a hold over from older people who haven't been out of their safe cushy jobs like a lot of political pension chasers. Since the decline of the middle class began retraining has become a way of drumming up business for schools, slowing the the numbers of people who would add to the labor force causing the unemployment rate to go up before the economy grew large enough to accept them as an employee. Meanwhile the not in the labor force grows and people suffer.

July 18 2014 at 11:18 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

The low participation rate, the increased amount of part timers, lack of wage growth, amount of temporary help, and tightening rules for unemployment approval not only signals a weak economy but it explains the false lower claim numbers.
The lost in manufacturing and other jobs because of trade deals and other outsourcing have caused planning boards to rubber stamp lown wage service jobs structures like retail and restaurants which increase traffic tie ups.

People have fallen out of the labor market keeping the national not in the labor force the highest it has ever been since the Great Recession began! The numbers of people were adding up even as the build up of employed reached a peak over 6 years ago then the jobs dropped like a rock. The loss of federal extensions meant the states who had already pilfered the funds was going to beable paying unemployment ince your state unemployment ranout.

The in Online job applications get scanned an ignored, rejected, or disappear so that might explain part of the reason for the low participation rate.
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July 18 2014 at 11:00 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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