Initial US weekly unemployment claims slip

  • Initial US weekly unemployment claims slip

Initial US weekly unemployment claims slip

WASHINGTON-The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week and continued to hover at a low level consistent with a healthy USA labor market.

Initial jobless claims are used as a real-time proxy for the pace of layoffs and the overall health of the labor market since people usually file for benefits soon after they lose their jobs. The decrease matched economists' expectations, and claims for the prior week were.

The four-week moving average of initial claims hit 237,250, an increase of 750 over the previous week's unrevised average of 236,500. In January 2016, the unemployment rate was 5.6 percent.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 235,000 in February, and the jobless rate edged down from January's 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent, said the Labor Department last week.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 30,000 to 2.03 million in the week ended March 4, the fewest since the period ended December 3. The state insured unemployment rate is 2.6 percent, 1.1 percentage points above the national rate. Most of the increase came in manufacturing, along with trade, transportation and warehousing. Previously, the December rate was reported at 5.4 percent.

However, over the year, 5,800 jobs were added, a 3.4 percent growth rate, up from 171,200 in January 2016.

The number of jobs increased by 6,500, or 0.1 percent, to 4.44 million. The number of unemployed increased by 797 to 4,500, while the number of employed individuals increased by 387 to 58,856.

IL recorded the second largest increase, behind NY, in the number of initial claims for the week ended March 4, at a gain of 2,552, 548 less than the year-ago period.

Unemployment in the Dalton, Ga., area jumped in January to the highest level in 12 months as employers cut jobs while the workforce continued to grow.