Jobless claims at lowest level since early 2008

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid plummeted last week to seasonally adjusted 339,000, the lowest level in more than four years. The sharp drop, if sustained, could signal a stronger job market.

The Labor Department said today that weekly applications fell by 30,000 to the fewest since February 2008. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped by 11,500 to 364,000, a six-month low.

The positive figures follow a report last week that said the unemployment rate fell in September to 7.8 percent. It was the first time since January 2009 that the rate dropped below 8 percent.

A Labor Department spokesman cautioned that the weekly unemployment aid applications can be volatile, particularly at the start of a quarter. And the spokesman said one large state accounted for much of the decline.

Unemployment benefit applications are a proxy for layoffs. When they consistently drop below 375,000, it suggests that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

The total number of people receiving benefits also fell. A little more than 5 million Americans received benefits in the week ending Sept. 22, the latest data available. That’s down about 44,000 from the previous week.

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Comments

campbell_rd says...

Obama by fiat just opened up thousands of illegals to jobs, also according to reports one large state didn't report or were excluded, and everyone believes these job numbers? Can I sell anyone some beach front property in Walla Walla? Also what isn't addressed here is the vast numbers of part time work that Obama care has infused into the work force. Full time jobs are likely at their lowest rate in decades. Our economy is on ice and getting worse every day.

Get out and vote, your future depends on it.

Posted 12 October 2012, 6:57 a.m. Suggest removal

namvet60 says...

Actual rate stands at 11% or higher!

Posted 12 October 2012, 6:50 p.m. Suggest removal

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