U.S. Unemployment Benefit Applications Rise to 360K - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

U.S. Unemployment Benefit Applications Rise to 360K

Posted:
(Photo: AP) (Photo: AP)

WASHINGTON (AP)- U.S. unemployment benefit applications rose 16,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 360,000, although the level remains consistent with steady hiring.
 
The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average increased 6,000 to 351,750.
 
The weekly applications data can be volatile in early July because some automakers briefly shut down their factories to prepare for new models and many schools close. Those factors can create a temporary spike in layoffs.
 
The broader trend has been favorable. Applications have declined steadily in the past year, as companies have laid off fewer workers and stepped up hiring. In the past six months, employers have added an average of 202,000 jobs a month. That's up from an average of 180,000 in the previous six months.
 
Employers added 195,000 jobs in June, and revisions showed that an additional 70,000 jobs were added in the previous two months. The unemployment rate was 7.6 percent, down from 8.2 percent a year earlier.
 
Applications fell to their lowest level since the recession began in the April-June quarter, according to calculations by Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank. They averaged 346,000 a week in the second quarter. That is the lowest quarterly average since it was 338,000 in the final three months of 2007, when the Great Recession began.
 
About 4.5 million people received unemployment benefits in the week ending June 22, the latest data available. That's about 50,000 fewer than the previous week. It's also 23 percent lower than a year ago, when there were nearly 5.9 million recipients. Some of those who no longer receive benefits have gotten jobs, but many have simply used up all the benefits available.
 
More hiring could help the economy grow faster later this year. The economy expanded at an annual rate of just 1.8 percent in the January-March quarter. Most analysts think it slowed even further in the second quarter, to about 1 percent to 1.5 percent.
 
Greater hiring means more Americans are earning paychecks, which boosts income and potentially fuels more spending. Average hourly wages rose 2.2 percent in June compared to a year earlier, ahead of the 1.4 percent inflation rate. Pay gains have started to outpace inflation this year, after barely keeping pace since the recession ended four years ago.
 
That's helped push consumer confidence to a 5½-year high. Greater consumer confidence is also helping drive up sales of homes and cars. From January through June, car sales reached their highest total for the first half of the year since 2007. And sales of previously occupied homes topped 5 million in May for the first time in 3 ½ years.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Ocean City Prepares For "College Beach Weekend"

    Ocean City Prepares For "College Beach Weekend"

    Thursday, July 20 2017 9:15 PM EDT2017-07-21 01:15:39 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 9:15 PM EDT2017-07-21 01:15:39 GMT
    Ocean City Prepares For "College Beach Weekend"Ocean City Prepares For "College Beach Weekend"
    The town of Ocean City prepares for "College Beach Weekend". The three day event starts today and according to the events organizer, the town is expected to see an influx of about 40,000 college students.More
    The town of Ocean City prepares for "College Beach Weekend". The three day event starts today and according to the events organizer, the town is expected to see an influx of about 40,000 college students.More
  • UPDATED: Lewes Man Arrested for Kidnapping and Assault

    Lewes Man Wanted for Alleged Assault, Kidnapping

    07/19/2017 17:17:00 -04:002017-07-19 21:17:00 GMT
    Friday, July 21 2017 12:05 AM EDT2017-07-21 04:05:03 GMT
    Delaware State Police are searching for Michael H. Debarr of Lewes.Delaware State Police are searching for Michael H. Debarr of Lewes.
    UPDATED: Delaware State Police found and arrested the Lewes man wanted for kidnapping and assault from earlier this week on Thursday.More
    UPDATED: Delaware State Police found and arrested the Lewes man wanted for kidnapping and assault from earlier this week on Thursday.More
  • People of Cambridge Remember H. Rap Brown

    People of Cambridge Remember H. Rap Brown

    Thursday, July 20 2017 6:39 PM EDT2017-07-20 22:39:06 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 6:39 PM EDT2017-07-20 22:39:06 GMT
    "The streets are yours. Take 'em." Those were the words that came from H. Rap Brown - a 1960s civil rights activist.More
    "The streets are yours. Take 'em." Those were the words that came from H. Rap Brown - a 1960s civil rights activist.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices