Applications for Unemployment Aid Continue to Drop

Applications for unemployment aid continue to dropWASHINGTON (AP) - The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits ticked down last week after dropping sharply the previous week, evidence hiring could pick up this month.

Weekly applications dropped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000 in the week ending May 5, the Labor Department said Thursday. The previous week's figure was revised up slightly.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell by 5,250 to 379,000. It was the first decline since late March.

Applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. When they stay consistently below 375,000, it suggests job growth is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

Applications are falling again after rising for most of April. The spike in applications coincided with weaker hiring this spring. Employers added an average of 135,000 jobs per month in March and April. That raised fears that the job market is sputtering after a strong winter.

Dan Greenhaus, an analyst at BTIG, an institutional brokerage firm, said temporary layoffs stemming from spring holidays likely pushed claims higher in April. If applications stay where they are or fall further, Greenhaus predicts hiring will rise to healthier levels of between 150,000 and 200,000 new jobs each month.

A jump in job openings also suggests hiring will pick up. Employers advertised 3.74 million job openings in March, the most since July 2008. It usually takes one to three months for employers to fill openings.

From December through February, employers had created an average 252,000 jobs a month. That was the best three months of job growth since the recession ended in June 2009, not counting months thrown off by the hiring of temporary census workers in 2010.

The unemployment rate has dropped a full percentage point since August - to 8.1 percent in April.

The recent jobs picture has been clouded by an unseasonably warm winter. That allowed construction firms and other companies to hire earlier than usual, effectively stealing jobs from the spring. Economists are puzzling out how much of the slower hiring in March and April was weather-related payback and how much reflects economic weakness.

More than 500,000 Americans have left the work force since February. That's one reason - and not a good one - that unemployment has continued to fall. People who are out of work but not looking for jobs aren't counted among the unemployed.

The economy grew at a disappointing 2.2 percent from January through March, a rate consistent with less than 110,000 new jobs a month.

There's still has a long way to go. The United States has regained only about 3.8 million, or 43 percent, of the 8.8 million jobs lost during and immediately after the recession.

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits also dropped. That is partly because extended benefit programs are winding down. More than 6.4 million people received benefits during the week that ended April 21, down nearly 175,000 from the previous week.

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ha6ai

You're reading the Obama-media.

There has been no drop in job losses.

However, there is an explosion in the numbers of net unemployed because of Obama.

Now Obama is immediately cutting the extended unemployment benefits!

Why? People are being cut-off right now!

WHY IS OBAMA CUTTING OFF PEOPLE'S UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS? BECAUSE CUTTING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS MAKES THOSE PEOPLE NO LONGER "UNEMPLOYED"!!!!

Anything you read on AOL/HuffPuff is Obama-propaganda.

May 15 2012 at 1:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bassmaker013

never hire me foour damn year also my wife too . that story damn lie

May 14 2012 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joey

You call that a Drop

May 14 2012 at 9:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
donut999

Reading the posts below, it makes you wonder if people can read with comprehension. The story is about "NEW FILINGS". It is not a made up government number, it is simply compiled from the Unemployment Offices nationwide based on the number of applicants for the week. The fact that it is completely meaningless is another matter. So go tirade on another board that has a story about--what is the unemployment rate really?

May 12 2012 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to donut999's comment
davidl1950

If it isn't a made up number then why has it been revised upwards every week for the past year.............never down............always up...........and always after the weeks numbers have been reported in the press. In any case................after about 48 months of 350,000 plus every single week...........sooner or later you have to start running out of new filers.

May 14 2012 at 5:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
donut999

No clue why they publish this stat. Of course there was a time when it meant something and hopefully a time in the future it will again. For the last couple of years, essentially meaningless. As more and more folks lost their jobs and would file, the "pool" had to decline. Typically, most workers are not going to get laid off or completely lose their jobs much more than once. Business has been "lean" for quite some time now. The plant with a 1,000 workers may have whittled down to 500-600, but that is the bottom number if they still want to operate the plant.

May 12 2012 at 2:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bridget1t

just one word for any government created numbers....JOKE

May 12 2012 at 2:09 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
Happy-Bday ugly

of the jobs created over the last three years, what percent of the jobs are, part time,have no benefits, are seasonal and what is the average pay of these jobs? Now look at the 81/2 million jobs that were lost , because of the self- serving, pocket lining, corrupt people in government, run wall street, the banks and the insurance companies, along with most of the rest of corporate America. Now tell us on the jobs lost, how many were full time, had benefits and what their average pay was, real shock. By the way over the last 2 years, how many people have exausted their unemployment benefits? No recover, more cover up and here comes Chase, 2 billion and a lot more round two of bank bailouts.

May 11 2012 at 11:52 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Happy-Bday ugly's comment
donut999

No one is bailing out Chase. The shareholders and balance sheet will absorb the loss. If you want to make some kind of point, use facts, not fiction.

May 12 2012 at 2:18 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
ha6ai

True, but not caused by businesses - the job losses have been and continue to be caused by the Obama-Dems!

May 15 2012 at 1:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rini1946

did they account for summer jobs at parks etc. and how much of the job growth is government paid jobs.

May 11 2012 at 6:50 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to rini1946's comment
donut999

See above, the story is about new filings. It is not about jobs, summer, government, or otherwise.

May 12 2012 at 2:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
davidl1950

Just like the new car sales..................take a look at how many of those sales were to the government. The numbers are about as genuine as Obama's birth certificate and the truth is as well hidden as his college transcripts.

May 14 2012 at 5:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
DDerr

HA HAAAAAAA> Yeah baby, our economy is realllllly looking up!!! What ails our country? There arent more hirings... there's more people giving up and NOT looking for jobs. If they just friggin counted the people who should be working, the real unemployment would be well over 15%. But our clever ol politicians have come up with some jim-dandy ways to count things. I want a friggin engineer or scientist to run this mess of a country. Not these baby kissing, pander-to- the lazy, give the money away politicians.

I do not understand how our leaders SWEAR on their precious BIBLE to uphold the constitution, and then go off first thing and decide their teentsy brains know better. If we had stuck by the Constitution and smacked Woodrow Wilson up side of his FAT head, we wouldnt have had the theiving FEDERAL RESERVE, and would not have this "BANKS-GONE-WILD" crap. JUST IMAGINE IF OUR GOVERNMENT HAD TO STAY WITH IN ITS BUDGET (WOW!) AND COULDNT PRINT UP MONEY THRU THE UNCONSITUTIONAL FEDERAL RESERVE.... AND GET US INTO WARS, PAY OUT ENTITLEMENTS, BAIL OUT CORPORATIONS WHO COULDNT COMPETE FAIRLY... ETC ETC. The politicians wouldnt have been able to vote themselves raises and their own pension, their own health plan, their own bloated offices full of assistants and party-goin aids.

WE ARE IN DEEP TROUBLE, AMERICA. VOTE OUT THE CURRENT IDIOTS UNTIL WE GET SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS THE CONSTITUTION AND GETS RID OF THE THEIVING FEDERAL RESERVE.

PS The Federal Reserve has stolen over $1 TRILLION in the last 8 years alone in interest... MINIMUM!

May 11 2012 at 12:58 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to DDerr's comment
donut999

I guess they got most of that imaginary $1 billion on Dubya's watch.

May 12 2012 at 2:20 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
donut999

You sure are critical of those you must admire. A couple of fellows, do not remember their names, but their initials are Dubya and Paulson were the originators of Tarp, Bear Stearns, and the ugliest one of them all AIG, which is not even a bank. But, I do not fault them for that. They had to do it. It was not a "decision" The alternative would have been world wide financial chaos.

May 12 2012 at 2:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
parthenon1

But no one ever acknowledges there are as many people who have been looking for months or even years that have given up looking but the fed is quick to drop them from the unemployed rolls so they can sell the idea that jobs are picking up. Not so no company that I am aware of is hiring except to fill critical jobs that require people who have some education.

May 11 2012 at 12:57 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply