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Unemployment Statistics Fall in the U.S.

By on February 7, 2013

Unemployment statistics fall in the US. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly claims for unemployment benefits fell by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted figure of 366,000.

Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits in the US last week, indicating that companies are still hiring at a modest but steady pace.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, under a 350, 000, 500 is the lowest in nearly five years. The average is low due to seasonal factors, which significantly reduced requests last month.

Still, some economists were encouraged by the decline. The weekly claims are a reflection of layoffs. When layoffs fall, usually hiring increase.

The decline in the four-week average “is good news and supports the view that the U.S. labor market is gradually improving,” said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

Applications in the four-week period are down almost 6% in the last three months. At the same time, increased hiring: companies added an average of 200,000 jobs per month between November and January.

In January, the companies added 157,000 jobs. And, annual report included in the Labor Department’s employment for January indicated that the economy created 600,000 jobs in 2011 and 2012 more than originally estimated.

However, unemployment rose to 7.9% in January, from 7.8% in December. Economists expect unemployment lower if the contracts are held monthly at the rate of last year, to 180,000. The index fell 0.7 percentage points in 2012.
In total, about 5.6 million people received unemployment benefits in the week ended Jan. 19, the latest figures available.

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