New Unemployment Aid Applications Hold Steady at 370,000

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unemploymentBy CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER

WASHINGTON -- The number of people seeking unemployment benefits was unchanged last week, suggesting steady gains in the job market.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly unemployment aid applications stayed at a seasonally adjusted 370,000, the same level as the previous week. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell for the second straight week, to 375,000.

Applications for benefits surged in April to a five-month high of 392,000. They have fallen back since then and are near the lowest levels in four years.

The decline suggests hiring could pick up in May after slumping in the previous two months. When applications drop below 375,000 a week, it generally suggests hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate has fallen from 9.1% in August to 8.1% last month. And employers have added a million jobs over the past five months.

The pace of hiring slowed sharply in March and April, to an average of 135,000 jobs per month. That raised fears that the job market is weakening.

But economists have cautioned that a warm winter led companies to move up some hiring and accelerate other activity that normally wouldn't occur until spring. That gave the appearance that the economy had strengthened in January and February and weakened in early spring.

And temporary layoffs stemming from spring holidays likely pushed unemployment benefit applications higher in April, economists noted.

If applications stay where they are or fall further, job growth should pick up. The gains may not match those from earlier in the year, when the economy averaged 252,000 jobs per month from December through February. But several economists said they expect somewhere in the range of 150,000 to 200,000 new jobs each month.

A jump in job openings supports the notion of stronger hiring in the coming months. 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.

Other signs suggest the economy is strengthening after its early spring lull.

Home construction rose to near a three-year high in April. And factory output has risen in three of the year's first four months.

The gains, highlighted in data released Wednesday, suggest growth in the April-June quarter is off to a good start.

Consumers are also finally seeing some relief from high gas prices. The average price of a gallon of gas was $3.73 on Wednesday, according to AAA. That's 18 cents less than a month ago.

So consumers should have more money for other purchases, which could also boost second-quarter growth and help lift hiring. Consumer spending drives roughly 70% of economic activity in the U.S.


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jbarry40

Can we say "Planted Story",,,,,,,check the U6.......total number of people working on Jan 1 2012 to May 1 2012 is down 169,000..........0 job growth.

May 22 2012 at 1:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jbarry40's comment
wfreeberg

It would be niced to see what portion of those 169,000 workers really want to work and will do most anything to get a job. This includes relocation, lower wages, different profession/industry. I bet most are waiting to get their old job back.

May 22 2012 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ha6ai

You are reading Obama media.

Last month, for each person who got a new job, THREE dropped out of the labor market.

THATS how the Dems can misrepresent the "unemployment" rate.

Welcome to the Obama economy.

May 21 2012 at 1:41 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
TINKDAY

Some day we will get real meaningful information on un employment, until than we will continue to get the half - truths and the feel good info.

May 20 2012 at 11:59 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cpo1514

Support to remove Obama in November Gain Momentum!!!!!!! A better headline ... right Huffy ????

May 19 2012 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ha6ai

Have you seen the obscene hit-pieces by HuffPuffObama Post attacking Romney?

HuffPuff is a vile Obama propagandist - hateful and snide and just like Obama, a liar.

Question: How do you know when Obama is lying?

May 19 2012 at 4:56 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
democracks0

EVAN/CHRIS/SOMEY. LMAO

True blue tingling feeling up the leg Obamites.

Soon Mily will show up. LOL

May 19 2012 at 12:25 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
croone22

Hello! Stop the BS and do some research. The job market sucks...California ,New York,and Nevada are just three big population states that look real sick. And when you count the people who have given up and no longer collect benefits,the country is heading for another depression or worse. 8.1% is only a .9% improvement in a year. And most of that is accounted for in no-longer in the job market people, Fed workers,and meaningless jobs. The real unemployment is about 15 % and that is seriously bad. The real problem in this country is too many journalists,lawyers,and politicians. And not enough math and science people who can actually create and produce things that advance our culture and improve our lives. In 1965 this country produced over 10 million automobiles /yr with a GDP of under 1 trillion dollars. Now we produce 3 million autos
with a 16 trillion dollar GDP. What does that tell you? The truth is that we have become a nation of consumers and self -indulgence people going no where while feasting on tacos,big-macs, junk food and many other gourmet delights. All while spending more time on the social networks trying desperately for some kind of recognition. All while an intellectually and morally incompetent government does everything possible to make their lives more miserable with jobs that pay less and food and other necessities that cost much more. I call that a formula for disaster and that's where we are heading.

May 19 2012 at 12:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
chris1011

T-Bagger's ideology:

I think the government should tell people what they can and can't do in the privacy of their bedrooms, but I'm for small government­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­.

I think the government should tell people who they can or can't marry, but I'm for small government­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­.

I think the government should tell people what plants/her­­bs they can and can't use and imprison them for unreasonab­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­l­­e periods of time for doing otherwise, but I'm for small government­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­.

I think the government should impose draconian laws, including medically-unnecessary physical violation without consent, concerning women and what they can do with their own bodies, but I'm for small government­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­.

I think the government should be able to spy on American citizens without due process or warrants, interrogat­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­e anyone thought to be a terr0rist (even when no reasonable suspicion exists) and arrest without cause anyone suspected of being in this country 'illegally­­­­­­­­', but I'm for small government­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­.

I think the government should be able to unfairly burden the middle-cla­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­s­­­­­s while giving tax breaks to plutocrats and corporatio­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­n­­­­s outsourcin­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­g American jobs­, but I'm for small government­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­.

I think the government should outlaw lsIam and atheism and restrict building or creating structures for religions deemed 'unchristi­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­a­­­n­­­'­­­­, but I'm for small government­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­.

I think the government should make children pray in school (only to the christian god), force schools to teach creationis­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­m­­, rewrite history and deny scientific fact, but I'm for small government­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­.

May 18 2012 at 10:54 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chris1011's comment
democracks0

The copy and paste poster child strikes again. Displaying more of his liberal tolerance. LMAO.

What a good little Obamite soldier.

May 19 2012 at 12:14 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
chris1011

Democrats vs. Republicans by the Numbers (Last 50 Years)

Years Held Presidency:
GOP: 28 years
DEM: 22 years

Total Jobs Created
GOP: 24 million
DEM: 42 million

Stock Market Return
GOP: 109%
DEM: 992%

Stock Market Return - annualized
GOP: 2.7%
DEM: 11.0%

GDP
GOP: 2.7%
DEM: 4.1%

Income Growth
GOP: 0.6%
DEM: 2.2%

May 18 2012 at 9:29 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chris1011's comment
democracks0

LMAO Where did you copy and paste that from? A word document that you made up?

Chris is an Obmite

Obamas a fiasco

May 18 2012 at 11:07 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to democracks0's comment
chris1011

Per the Heritage Foundation

May 18 2012 at 11:33 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down
democracks0

Surrrrrrrrrrrrre Chrissy. You know you liberals don't believe anything from the Heritage Foundation. Nice try though. Sorry to see MSNBC hasn't called you for the job yet. And you're trying so hard to get the job. LMMFAO!!!!!!! Try calling them and ask for the job.

May 19 2012 at 12:21 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down
Somey

mrspelosi

Is going to be speaker of the house again

May 18 2012 at 7:41 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Somey's comment
democracks0

What a simpleton

Obamas a failure

May 18 2012 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply