U.S. jobless claims fall to new three-month low

WASHINGTON Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:46am EDT

A job-seeker completes an application at a career fair held by civil rights organization National Urban League as part of its annual conference, in Philadelphia July 25, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Makela

A job-seeker completes an application at a career fair held by civil rights organization National Urban League as part of its annual conference, in Philadelphia July 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mark Makela

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell and hit a fresh three-month low last week, suggesting a strengthening in labor market conditions.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 315,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was the lowest reading since late November.

Claims for the week ended March 1 were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits rising to 330,000 in the week ended March 8.

The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of underlying labor market conditions as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 6,250 to 330,500, the lowest level since early December.

A Labor Department analyst said no states were estimated.

Unseasonably cold weather has slowed job growth in recent months, but the labor market is showing signs of shaking off winter's icy grip.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 175,000 in February. They had risen 129,000 in January and gained 84,000 in December. Economists expect job gains to accelerate in March as temperatures warm up.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell 48,000 to 2.86 million in the week ended March 1. That was the lowest level since December.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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Comments (3)
ineeditbad wrote:
I guess the Defense Industry is getting better now? Hmmm layoffs still happening, Quietly of course. I’ve been Sequestered as well. Nothing worth pursuing for jobs, still, and I’m a Professional in the Computer Industry…Thanks Obama. Keep the lies coming…

Mar 13, 2014 8:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ineeditbad wrote:
“The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell 48,000 to 2.86 million in the week ended March 1. That was the lowest level since December.”

Sure, Extended Benefits were Cut in December. People are just giving up looking for Decent Well paying jobs…if even that…

Mar 13, 2014 9:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:
If the trend holds this weeks numbers is actuallygood news except if your on of the 315,000 that lost their jobs.

No economist that I know of has adjusted the weekly New Claims filed against the size of the workforce to get at a number to where you can assume the economy is growing at a rate where companies will really begin to invest in their businesses.

The numbers in recent history was 350,000 weekly new claims and 250,000 monthly new jobs above they claims numbers for the month.

Example: 4 weeks at 315,000 layoffs = 1,260,00 jobs lost. The monthly jobs number would be those 1,260,000 PLUS 315,000 to give a gain for that month.

Now I personally have never seen the two numbers compared together in a report that makes any sort of mathamatical sense but I’m not a math whiz in any sort of form.

I do know that over 5,000 people a day are turning 65 and going on Social Security any you NEVER see those numbers in the mix with the monthly jobs numbers.

Ahhh well coffee time.

Mar 13, 2014 9:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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