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Continued Drop in Unemployment Claims Shows A Tight Labor Market

Americans applying for unemployment benefits each week has hit a new low in late August that by one measure is the lowest level since 1969.

Initial jobless claims rose by 3,000 to 213,000 in the seven days from Aug. 19 to Aug. 25. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 212,000 reading.

Monthly claims have dropped by 1,500 to 212,250, the government said Thursday. That is the lowest level since December 1969.

The number of people already collecting unemployment benefits declined by 20,000 to 1.71 million.

The rate of layoffs in the U.S. have been declining for years and are now near the lowest levels in half a century.

Most employers are suggesting that it’s so hard to find skilled labor that they are reluctant to cut any jobs, even when business is slow.

The U.S. economy is on track for another strong stretch of growth in the third quarter that began July 1. Economists forecast 3% growth following a 4.2% increase this spring.

These levels continue to show a labor market that is very tight.

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