Jobless claims fall for second consecutive week

WASHINGTON, Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:42am EDT

Job seekers stand in line to meet with prospective employers at a career fair in New York City, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Job seekers stand in line to meet with prospective employers at a career fair in New York City, October 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell for a second straight week last week, underscoring the strengthening labor market fundamentals.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000 for the week ended Aug. 23, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims climbing to 300,000 last week. A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing the state level data.

The four-week average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 1,250 to 299,750, pointing to sturdy job gains and an economy that is growing above its potential.

Job growth has topped 200,000 for six consecutive months, a stretch last seen in 1997, while the economy expanded at a 4.2 percent annual pace in the second quarter.

The jobless claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid increased 25,000 to 2.53 million in the week ended Aug. 16.

The so-called continuing claims covered the period the government samples households to calculate the unemployment rate for August. Continuing claims increased 19,000 between the July and August household survey weeks, suggesting little change in the jobless rate, which was at 6.2 percent last month.

The unemployment rate for people receiving jobless benefits was 1.9 percent for the seventh consecutive week.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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Comments (1)
The last par says: “The unemployment rate for people receiving jobless benefits was 1.9 percent for the seventh consecutive week.” I know you’re just reporting the info that you get and find, but why isn’t “the unemployment rate for people receiving unemployment benefits” 100%?

Aug 28, 2014 9:06am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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