Jobless Claims Fall To 15-Year Low, But Economic Concerns Still Remain

| by Ethan Brown
article imagearticle image

The number of jobless claims filed last week was lower that forecasters expected, signaling moderate improvement in a still-volatile economic recovery.

According to Bloomberg Business, jobless claims fell by 8,000 to 276,000 during the week ending May 30. Originally, a report from the U.S. Labor Department expected 284,000 claims, providing some relief to analysts after the full statistics were released. Moreover, it marks the lowest number of residents receiving unemployment benefits in 14 years, since November 2000.

Despite economic output contracting during the first quarter of the year, the updated figures are encouraging for summer job opportunities and future job growth.

“This suggests businesses really did look through the weakness in the first quarter. The job market continues to do reasonably well,” Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s, told Bloomberg Business about the official report.

In April, employers added 223,000 jobs, a significant increase from the 85,000 in March. Job figures in March showed the lowest number since June 2012, but did not have a negative effect moving forward. For example, the total number of jobs created currently stands at 193,750, possibly nearing last year’s 259,670, which was the best performance since the late 1990s.

But the economic rebound is still moving at a slow pace. Millions of skilled Americans are still working part-time jobs or have stopped looking for work altogether.

Some lag from the first quarter carried over to the second, due to spending cuts in the energy sector forcing manufacturers to curtail expected projects and cut back on equipment, Reuters reported.

Figures for May will be released on June 5; initial claims show another strong month of economic growth, with payrolls expected to increase from April.

Sources: Bloomberg Business, Reuters via CNBC, The Wall Street Journal

Photo Credit: RM Cherry Creek