labor department statistics

Unemployment Falls to 7.7% as Employers Get Back to Hiring

U.S. employers ramped up hiring in February, adding 236,000 jobs and pushing the unemployment rate down to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in January. Stronger hiring shows businesses are confident about the economy, despite higher taxes and government spending cuts.

Worker Productivity Growth Revised Upward to 2.9 Percent

U.S. workers were more productive this summer than initially thought, while costing their companies less. The Labor Department says productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent from July through September. That's the fastest pace in two years.

Consumer Prices Hold Steady for Third Time in Four Months

U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in July from June, as a small drop in energy costs offset slightly higher food prices. The consumer price index hasn't changed since March, evidence that the weak economy is keeping inflation in check.

New Unemployment Aid Applications Hold Steady

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits was unchanged last week at 370,000, a number low enough to suggest steady gains in the job market. Applications for benefits are near the lowest levels in four years.

Unemployment Aid Applications Near a 4-Year Low

The number of people seeking unemployment aid neared a four-year low last week, a positive sign that strong hiring could continue in the coming months. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000. That's the second-lowest level since April 2008.

Unemployment Rate Hits 8.3% After Hiring Burst

Employers went on a hiring spree in January and drove down the unemployment rate for a fifth straight month to 8.3 percent, its lowest point in nearly three years. The result pointed to a resurgent job market, and it sent stock futures surging. The Dow Jones industrial average futures, which were flat before the report, jumped 95 points.

U.S. Unemployment Falls in 39 States in April

The unemployment rate fell last month in more 39 states, evidence that companies are feeling more confident about the U.S. economy. Nationally, businesses have added more than 250,000 jobs per month, on average, in the past three months -- their fastest hiring spree in five years.

What's the Real Unemployment Number?

Last week, jobs went up by a hair, but somehow, unemployment plummeted by a lot. What gives? The answer lies in the quirky way the Bureau of Labor Statistics decides who gets counted as part of the work force, who gets counted as officially unemployed, and who gets left out of the picture.

With Job Openings Falling, Trouble Could Be Coming

Two sets of labor statistics data, released this week, point to a divergence between the job-openings rate and the total number of employees on nonfarm payrolls. And that divergence may well serve as a leading indicator for the labor market as a whole.

New Jobless Claims Drop, Approach Key Level

There was excellent news on the labor front this week as the government reported that initial jobless claims plunged 34,000 to 407,000. Jobless claims are now nearing a key threshold that would suggest commercial activity is increasing at a pace that would prompt more companies to resume hiring.

Initial Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise 13,000 to 462,000

Just call this week%u2019s labor report a wash: Initial jobless claims unexpectedly jumped 13,000 to 462,000, but continuing claims plunged another 112,000, and the trend in state-level claims continues to provide evidence that the period of layoffs is subsiding.

More Jobs Added Than Expected in August

The U.S. economy lost only 54,000 jobs in August -- less than had been expected -- while the private sector added a greater than predicted 67,000 jobs. Meanwhile, job loss totals for June and July were revised substantially downward.

Initial Jobless Claims Make a Surprise Jump

Initial jobless claims unexpectedly surged by 19,000 to 479,000, the Labor Department said Thursday, but the statistic was likely skewed higher by the normal, seasonal industrial shutdowns that happen every year in late summer.