Jobless Numbers Point to Hiring Rebound

Jobless Claims
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer


WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits edged up slightly last week but remained at a level consistent with modest gains in hiring.

Unemployment benefit applications rose by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000, the Labor Department said. The less volatile four-week average fell by 5,500 to 363,750. That was the lowest level since late March.

Applications have trended lower in the past two months, indicating companies are laying off fewer workers and hiring is picking up. When applications fall consistently below 375,000, it generally suggests hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

The decline in the number of people filing for unemployment benefits has also been one of several signs that the economy and hiring rebounded in July after falling into a spring slump.

Employers added 163,000 jobs in July, the most since February. Job gains averaged only 73,000 jobs a month from April through June, not enough to keep up with a rising population. The unemployment rate blipped up to 8.3 percent, from 8.2 percent.

Americans boosted their retail spending in July by the most in five months, according to the Commerce Department. That suggests some are more confidence in the economy.

And factory output also rose in July for the second straight month, according to the Federal Reserve. A large jump in auto production drove the increase.

Slower growth in consumer spending was the main reason growth slowed in the April-June quarter to an annual rate of 1.5 percent, down from 2 percent in the January-March quarter and 4.1 percent in the final three months of 2011.

Most economists say stronger growth is necessary to create enough jobs to lower unemployment.

The economy faces other challenges that may weigh further on growth.

Europe's financial crisis is expected to slow U.S. exports to that region, a direct strike against U.S. manufacturers. The 17 nations that use the euro saw their economies shrink, as a group, in the April-June quarter.

The U.S. may drive off a "fiscal cliff" at the end of this year as well. That's when a slate of tax cuts expire and big spending cuts are scheduled to kick in. If those changes aren't altered or delayed, recession is a very real possibility.


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cslinz62

I think people should be aloud to draw unemployment if your boss bullied you to the point of quitting. I had no witnesses so I couldn't file. Guess I'll build me a lean-to under a bridge soon.

August 20 2012 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hello Sean ;)

". . . unemployment benefits edged up slightly last week but remained at a level consistent with modest gains in hiring."

??????
The worst part, so many stupid libs miss the irony.

August 19 2012 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
juryrocket

Obama policies of spend and spend and spend and borrow and borrow and borrow and regulate and tax and regulate and print and print. I think that so genyous! Knowbody know how to spend and spend and borrow and borrow and print and regulate and regulate like the brillyant Obama. And even though it dont always make cents, no matter how much you think, it is no use cuz you is never gunna think more good than Obama. And if you dont agree with spend and spend and spend and print and regulate and tax and regulate, then you just a rasist.

August 17 2012 at 2:07 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to juryrocket's comment
jdykbpl45

Typical Obama type logic. Anyone who does not agree with you is a racist.

August 17 2012 at 3:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Melody & Bern

these lefties twist everything to make barry look good, the real unemployment #'s r probably 15% or more.

August 17 2012 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melody & Bern

no rebound huff post.

August 17 2012 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melody & Bern

mitch said, Eisenhower gave away the pan canal, sorry, the 2nd worst pres. carter did, and we know who the worst pres is............................BHO

August 17 2012 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melody & Bern

sorry, don't believe

August 17 2012 at 10:38 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Randall Martin

This article is wishful thinking. The economy is flat and the unemployment picture is also flat.

August 17 2012 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
HaroldW

Yeah, things are great

August 17 2012 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C1ndy

It appears we have children running this country. The media lies under the hands of those who do not tell the truth. Welcome to the new USA!! Lies! Lies! Lies! We the middle class and poor are not stupid! You wonder why people are going over the edge. This Government does not care! This is what they were hoping for. People killing people. Population control!

August 17 2012 at 9:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply