Jobless Claims

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week fell sharply to the lowest level in four years, a hopeful sign for the struggling labor market, government data showed on Thursday.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 350,000, the Labor Department said.

The drop, which brought new claims to their lowest level since March 2008, was much steeper than Wall Street economists expected.

The prior week's figure was revised slightly higher to 376,000 from the previously reported 374,000.

Hiring by U.S. companies slowed dramatically in the second quarter as employers grew worried about Europe's snowballing debt crisis, which is weighing on the global economy. Many employers also are concerned over the possibility the U.S. government may cut spending and let tax cuts expire next year, which could send the economy into recession.

The level of new claims for unemployment insurance was the lowest since March 2008 -- the early days of the 2007-2009 recession.

The fall in claims data suggests that while employers are holding the line on hiring, at least they aren't picking up the pace of layoffs. That could boost hopes the stalling in job creation might prove temporary.

Still, the jobless claims data had an important caveat.

A Labor Department official noted that part of the drop might be due to some auto manufacturers keeping their plants open during the first week of July to meet demand.

Normally plant closures during that week would lead to a spike in jobless claims, but they did not materialize. That suggests part of the strength in the labor market last week might be due to temporary factors.

The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, fell 9,750 to 376,500. That is still a significant drop, although the average is only at its lowest since May.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Neil Stempleman)

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How shocking! After our "Great Leader" obama 1st told us everything in the private sector of the economy is doing great. Yep, all that hope and change is working just fine. And to think there are many people in this country that are still falling for obama's glib talk and are actually ready to vote for him again. Are people really that guillible?

July 28 2012 at 10:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In America you used to get rewarded for hard work. Now you get penalized for hard work and you are rewarded for being a SLACKER. Thanks to our communist president.

July 16 2012 at 5:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The lefty "media" will lie and distort reality in order to support their "Dear Leader", Barak Hussein Obama.

This "article" is the exact OPPOSITE OF REALITY.

July 15 2012 at 3:17 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Flush the Tea Potties in congress out of office.They care more about destroying our Country for spite that they lost the last Presidetial race and a half White President .Their new Lily Candidate that beat out the flavors of the month so they landed up with Mitt that has no core backbone. A weather vane that tries to pander to everyone then gets blown back into the direction of tea potty hate policies.A life time goal to get to the White House but costly empty suit just keeps flip flaping in the wind.

July 14 2012 at 11:46 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply


July 14 2012 at 4:34 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to n5monthsocrapleft's comment

this muslim clown is sabotaging n holding all americans hostage by not giving ""ALL" americans tax breaks~~ITS TAX BREAKS FOR "ALL" OR NONE~~>MUSLIM CLOWN =OBSTRUCTIONIST N "STILL OBSTRUCTING. ! !

July 14 2012 at 9:51 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Wonderful article but it left out----
The recession was over yrs. ago.
Business is doing fine.
Get used to high unemployment.
Michelle loves those lobsters.

July 13 2012 at 9:06 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Of coarse it is low, there aren't to many people working left to lay off.

July 13 2012 at 8:19 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Cut everyone off of unemployment and don't let the people who gets laid off draw it, man look at the 0 unemployment rate. Over the last 3 years, you're looking at over 40 million people who has been laid off and 50% of them stopped looking for a job..... Because there isn't any...

July 13 2012 at 7:29 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to lpi2007's comment

It's interesting in talking to long term unemployed. They would rather stay on welfare than take a job that pays close to welfare. They do not venture out of state, to a state with very low unemployment, example Iowa unemployment rate below 6%. Western North Dakota was crying for applicants, high paying long term job with the new fuel exploration, minimal experience required. I come away with the feeling they are waiting for someone to knock on their door offering them a high paying job. Two low paying jobs is much better than accepting welfare, no matter the form.

July 13 2012 at 9:16 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wfreeberg's comment

Sadly there are far too many people that fit what you state. It pays them better to be on welfare than to take a "low wage" job, so they stay on the dole. There are also a great many people out there that are not counted and included in anybody's stats about the unemployedso they fall through the crack. How can obama and any of his advisor can say the recession ended over 3 years ago when there are so many millions of people suffering from no money, no jobs, no homes and no hope? That really shows you that he and his stooges are so out of touch with the reality of how bad the economic situation is in this country. And we should keep him in office? Now that's a joke.

July 28 2012 at 10:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

how interesting that you say it has been just over the last 3 years. What about before then?

July 13 2012 at 5:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

It only fell short because employers are treating employees so crapy these days that the person quits instead of staying long enough to get laid off.

July 13 2012 at 2:46 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Oh Great One!

You know, when you figure probably at least 5% of the population is a bunch of unemployable nutcases, this really isn't too bad.

July 13 2012 at 12:43 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Oh Great One!'s comment

The oh not so great one has spoken

July 13 2012 at 9:38 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Dumb One.... are you referring to the Occupants Economic Advisors / Professors???? The ones that can't get a job teach the rest with a government grant from the left???

July 15 2012 at 7:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply