Applications for Jobless Aid Fall to Low Level of 267.000

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 4:36 PM

THE NUMBERS: Applications for U. S. jobless benefits fell 9.000 to a seasonally adjusted 267.000, the Work Dept said Thursday. The four-week average, a less-volatile figure, rose 3.500 to 266.750.

Fewer Americans sought unemployment aid latest week, proof that employers are holding onto their workers despite signs of weak growth.

THE NUMBERS: Applications for U. S. jobless benefits fell 9.000 to a seasonally adjusted 267.000, the Work Dept said Thursday. The four-week average, a less-volatile figure, rose 3.500 to 266.750. The no of people receiving benefits was mostly unchanged at 2.19 million. The benefit rolls have fallen 6.five % in the past year.

Applications have been below 300.000 for fifty-seven straight weeks, the longest streak since 1973.

THE TAKEAWAY: Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the figures point to a stable work market with steady hiring and few work cuts. Businesses show up unfazed by the economy'south current weakness, with some analysts forecasting that growth may slip below a one % annual rate in the first three months of this year.

That suggests many companies may look the slowdown as temporary. Hiring has remained solid, as employers added 215.000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate ticked up to 5 percent, from 4.9 percent, but for mostly a excellent reason: Many people who hadn't been searching for work launched work hunts latest month. Most found jobs, but not all were immediately hired. That boosted the no of unemployed.

KEY DRIVERS: The steady work gains have continued despite proof growth is slowing. Americans barely increased their spending in Feb for the third straight month. Residence sales have leveled off. And orders for manufactured goods fell latest month, partly because of weaker overseas demand.

Growth was just 1.4 % at an annual rate in latest year'south fourth quarter, and may have slowed further in the first quarter. Yet many economists expect ongoing work gains and lower prices at the gas pump to lift consumer spending in the coming months and boost growth.

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