Thursday, July 29, 2010

Unemployment Compensation Claims Decline for Third Time in Four Weeks, But Remain Elevated

The Department of Labor released its recent jobless claims data which revealed new jobless claims fell last week for the third time in four weeks but remain elevated, which is a sign that the economy likely added jobs in July, although not enough to lower the nation's high unemployment rate. From the AP article on the data release:

First-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 457,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Claims have fluctuated this month because of temporary seasonal factors. General Motors and other manufacturers skipped their traditional summer shutdowns, which led to fewer layoffs and unemployment claims. But the impact of that distortion has largely faded from the data, a Labor Department analyst said.

The four-week average of claims, which smooths fluctuations, dropped to 452,500, the lowest level since May.

That suggests layoffs may be easing. And the four-week average is slightly below its level in June, which indicates that private employers likely added about the same number of jobs in July as they did last month. The Labor Department will issue its July employment report next
week.

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