Americans, you are just going out there and getting it done and it’s showing — the number of people claiming unemployment benefits has fallen to a four-year low, to 357,000 for last week. High fives, all around, everybody!
The Labor Department numbers, via the Associated Press, could indicate that employers are keeping up their end of the equation and hiring more people. Last week’s low of weekly applications was a drop by 6,000, and is the fewest amount of benefits seekers since April 2008. The four-week average also fell to a four-year-low, at 361,750. That’s an almost 13% drop in the last six months.
Strong hiring efforts are usually behind any drop in unemployment benefits applications below 375,000 on a consistent basis. This is good news for tomorrow’s report on job growth in March, along with numbers like an average of 245,000 jobs added by employers per month from December through February, and an unemployment rate dip from 9.1% in august to 8.3% in February.
So it’s a lot of numbers, and the gist is all good, even as the unemployment rate held steady for the second straight month. Experts think we’re on the up and up, and we’re inclined to trust them.
“We believe that the economy has entered a more self-sustaining phase of the recovery with stronger job creation,” said John Ryding, an analyst at RDQ Economics, in a note to clients.
Consumers are spending more, boosting retailers and spurring job growth. So we’ll say what we always do — get out there and buy some stuff, if you can, and do your part.
Unemployment claims hit 4-year low of 357,000 [Associated Press]