Fewer Americans Filed for Unemployment Benefits Last Week - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fewer Americans Filed for Unemployment Benefits Last Week

Posted: Updated:
In this Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 photo, U.S. Armed Forces veterans attend the annual Veterans Career and Resource Fair in Miami. (Photo: AP) In this Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 photo, U.S. Armed Forces veterans attend the annual Veterans Career and Resource Fair in Miami. (Photo: AP)

WASHINGTON (AP)- Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that strong hiring should continue despite signs of slower economic growth at the start of 2015.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for jobless aid fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 282,000. The decrease suggests that a recent slowdown in manufacturing, housing starts and retail sales have not trickled into the job market, a possible indication that economic growth will rebound after a harsh winter.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, tumbled 7,750 to 297,000. Over the past 12 months, the average has dipped roughly 7 percent.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The relatively low average shows that employers are holding onto workers and may increase hiring. Applications below 300,000 are generally consistent with solid monthly job gains.

The economy has been struck by some setbacks during a frigid February. Factories cranked out fewer long-lasting goods, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Builders broke ground on fewer homes last month, while retail spending has fallen.

Those reports indicate that growth will be dramatically lower than its annual average of 2.2 percent during the final three months of last year, which was already a decrease from growth averaging more than 4 percent in the middle of 2014.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve forecasts that first-quarter growth will be at an annualized rate of 0.2 percent. Private firm Macroeconomic Advisers estimated somewhat more optimistically on Tuesday growth of 1.4 percent.

Still, as layoffs have dipped, job growth has soared. In each of the past 12 months, employers have added at least 200,000 jobs. The gains totaled 295,000 in February.

The job growth has slashed the unemployment rate to 5.5 percent from 6.7 percent a year ago.

However, wages have yet to rise significantly, limiting the benefits to the overall economy from the additional jobs. Average hourly wages have climbed just 2 percent over the past 12 months.

  • Business NewsMore>>

  • Drywall Contractor Pickets Salisbury Auto Dealership

    Drywall Company Pickets Salisbury Auto Dealership

    Jun 05, 2018 1:29 PM2018-06-05 17:29:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 5 2018 4:06 PM EDT2018-06-05 20:06:05 GMT
    Workers from T&D Drywall picketed in front of CarMax in Salisbury on Tuesday, demanding payment for work the subcontractor completed on the dealership's building in December. (Photo: WBOC)Workers from T&D Drywall picketed in front of CarMax in Salisbury on Tuesday, demanding payment for work the subcontractor completed on the dealership's building in December. (Photo: WBOC)
    Workers from T&D Drywall picketed in front of CarMax in Salisbury on Tuesday, demanding payment for work the subcontractor completed on the dealership's building in December. (Photo: WBOC)Workers from T&D Drywall picketed in front of CarMax in Salisbury on Tuesday, demanding payment for work the subcontractor completed on the dealership's building in December. (Photo: WBOC)
    Employees of a local drywall contractor on Tuesday were protesting outside the CarMax dealership in Salisbury, Maryland, demanding money for work they did at the dealership six months ago.More
    Employees of a local drywall contractor on Tuesday were protesting outside the CarMax dealership in Salisbury, Maryland, demanding money for work they did at the dealership six months ago.More
  • $210M Settlement Eyed in Wilmington Trust Shareholder Suit

    $210M Settlement Eyed in Wilmington Trust Shareholder Suit

    May 29, 2018 11:45 AM2018-05-29 15:45:00 GMT
    Tuesday, May 29 2018 11:45 AM EDT2018-05-29 15:45:51 GMT
    Wilmington Trust has agreed to a $210 million cash settlement in a shareholder lawsuit alleging that the bank fraudulently concealed billions of dollars in bad loans.More
    Wilmington Trust has agreed to a $210 million cash settlement in a shareholder lawsuit alleging that the bank fraudulently concealed billions of dollars in bad loans.  More
  • Wawa Adds Self-service Lottery Kiosks to Delaware Stores

    Wawa Adds Self-service Lottery Kiosks to Delaware Stores

    May 25, 2018 9:12 AM2018-05-25 13:12:00 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 9:12 AM EDT2018-05-25 13:12:43 GMT
    (Photo: AP)(Photo: AP)
    (Photo: AP)(Photo: AP)
    Wawa anticipates that its more than 40 stores in Delaware will be outfitted with self-service lottery kiosks by next month.More
    Wawa anticipates that its more than 40 stores in Delaware will be outfitted with self-service lottery kiosks by next month.           More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices