US jobless claims drop to 5-year low of 330,000

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to the lowest level in five years, evidence that employers are cutting fewer jobs and may step up hiring.

The Labor Department says weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 330,000. That's the fewest since January 2008. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 351,750. That's also the lowest in nearly five years.

The decline may reflect the government's difficulty adjusting its numbers to account for layoffs after the holiday shopping season. Layoffs spike in the second week of January and then plummet. The department seeks to adjust for those trends, but the figures can still be volatile.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. While layoffs are falling, hiring has been modest in recent months.

However, in Mesa County, the unemployment rate increased from 8.4 percent in November to 8.6 percent in December. The labor force increased by about 2,000 workers from that time in 2011.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:
KKCO NBC 11 News
2531 Blichmann Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81505

Station Phone: 970.243.1111
Business Fax: 970.243.1770
Newsroom Fax: 970.245.3793
News Tip & Contest Line: 970.255.8477
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 188219611 - nbc11news.com/a?a=188219611
Gray Television, Inc.