Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published April 10, 2014 at 5:47 AM | Page modified April 10, 2014 at 1:25 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Applications for US jobless aid dip 32K to 300,000

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in almost seven years, falling 32,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 300,000.


AP Economics Writer

Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
@Fresh Aire What does decreasing unemployment have to do with food stamps? MORE
And the economic recovery under a Democrat President once again proves which party not only has the talk, but the walk. MORE
What is the BLS U-6 unemployment number? It should be included in articles like this to give the entire picture of how... MORE

advertising

WASHINGTON —

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in almost seven years, falling 32,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 300,000.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,750 to 316,250.

Fewer Americans sought benefits last week than at any point since the Great Recession began at the end of 2007. Applications are at their lowest level since May of that year.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The decrease suggests that employers expect stronger economic growth in the coming months and are holding onto their workers.

But Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, cautioned that the drop-off might be smaller than it appears. He noted that the Easter holiday, which moves from year-to-year, might have distorted the seasonal adjustments.

"We need to see a few more weeks' numbers before we can be sure where the trend now stands," Shepherdson said in a client note. "Our core view is that claims are drifting gently downwards."

Employers added 192,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said last week. That follows gains of 197,000 in February, as the unemployment rate stayed at 6.7 percent for the second straight month.

Snowstorms and freezing temperatures in January and December shut down factories, kept shoppers away from stores, and reduced home buying. That cut into growth and hiring. Employers added 144,000 jobs in January and only 84,000 in December.

More jobs and higher incomes will be needed to spur better overall economic growth. For now, economists expect the bad weather contributed to weak growth of 1.5 percent to 2 percent at an annual rate in the January-March quarter. But as the weather improves, most analysts expect growth to rebound to near 3 percent.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Bad email habits to break today


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►