IBJNews

Jobless claims fall sharply to 4-month low

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Fewer people applied for unemployment aid last week, the third drop in four weeks and possible evidence that the job market is showing signs of life.

If the decline continues, it could signal more hiring in the near future. The report comes after the U.S. Labor Department said last week that private employers added the most jobs in six months in October.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that initial claims for jobless aid dropped by 24,000, to a seasonally adjusted 435,000. Many Wall Street economists expected a smaller decrease.

The four-week average of claims, a less volatile measure, fell 10,000, to 446,500. That's the lowest level for the average since the week that ended Sept. 13, 2008, just before the financial crisis intensified with the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Weekly first-time claims are now at their lowest level since early July, when they were temporarily lowered by the July 4 holiday. Last week's figures are the second-lowest this year.

Applications fell partly because the weather has been relatively warm so far this fall, a Labor Department analyst said, and construction and manufacturing firms haven't temporarily laid off as many workers due to cold weather as they have in the past.

Claims have previously dropped sharply this year, but have always bounced back. Applications have fluctuated around 450,000 for most of this year, after falling last year from about 600,000 when the recession ended in June 2009. Economists say claims need to drop below 425,000 to signal a healthy pace of hiring.

Applications for unemployment benefits, while volatile, provide a real-time snapshot of the job market. They are a measure of the pace of layoffs and signal whether companies are adding jobs.

Some companies are hiring new workers, despite the slow economy. US Airways said Monday that it plans to hire 500 flight attendants and pilots next year, mostly to cover planned retirements and attrition. The jobs will initially be offered to former employees laid off during the downturn.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Why it is getting better
    It goes to show that the President's response to the GOP Financial Crisis of 2008 is working. For the GOP somehow thinking that it would be solved overnight was only using it for political leverage in the elections. Their official policy mirrors what they did in 1929 (or didn't do). By the time FDR took over from the republicans, unemployment grew to 20%and was rapidly rising. The president prevented another GOP Depression and unemployment only went to about 10% nationally. It might have been lower in Indiana had the Governor not blocked and redirected the stimulus efforts. Time to wake up and see the facts for what they are.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

  2. It's good to hear that the festival is continuing to move forward beyond some of the narrow views that seemed to characterize the festival and that I and others had to deal with during our time there.

  3. Corner Bakery announced in March that it had signed agreements to open its first restaurants in Indianapolis by the end of the year. I have not heard anything since but will do some checking.

  4. "The project still is awaiting approval of a waiver filed with the Federal Aviation Administration that would authorize the use of the land for revenue-producing and non-aeronautical purposes." I wonder if the airport will still try to keep from paying taxes on these land tracts, even though they are designated as "non aeronatical?"

  5. How is this frivolous? All they are asking for is medical screenings to test the effects of their exposure. Sounds like the most reasonable lawsuit I've read about in a while. "may not have commited it" which is probably why they're suing to find out the truth. Otherwise they could just ask Walmart, were you negligent? No? OK, thanks for being honest.

ADVERTISEMENT