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US unemployment aid applications drop to 284,000


WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week to its lowest level in more than eight years.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the lowest reading since February 2006, nearly two years before the Great Recession began.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined 7,250 to 302,000. Claims for jobless aid have been falling for the past three months. Recent reports have coincided with the temporary summer shutdowns of auto plants, yet the impact of those closures is addressed through seasonal adjustments.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. When employers hold onto their workers, it's a sign of potential income gains, increased hiring and confidence that the economy will grow. The recent drop-off in unemployment benefit applications point to a substantial number of jobs added in July, raising expectations for the monthly employment report to be released August 1.

"All in, it looks like we may be in for another solid payroll report," said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

The decline in people applying for benefits buttresses other reports that the economy is improving.

Employers added 288,000 jobs in June, the fifth straight month of job gains above 200,000. That's the first such stretch since 1999, during the height of the dot-com boom. The unemployment rate has fallen to 6.1 percent, the lowest since September 2008.

Total layoffs in May dropped below pre-recession levels, the government said in a separate report. Job openings are at their highest level in seven years, while more workers are quitting their jobs. Workers usually quit when they have an offer for a better position or confidence that they can find one.

Still, the job growth has done little to lift wages significantly. Wage growth has barely matched inflation during the economic recovery.

But more people with jobs increases the total number of paychecks, which could boost consumer spending and growth. After a sharp contraction in the economy in the first three months of the year, most economists expect growth to return in the April-June quarter and exceed 3 percent at an annual pace in the second half of 2014.

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cptberm55 July 24 2014 at 12:05 PM

More BS from the feds ,ninety two million unemployed and this is supposed to give US a warm fuzzy feeling !!

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7 replies
its.howdy.doody.time July 24 2014 at 1:21 PM

Unemployment aid applications dropping because once the state aid runs out - why keep applying..?
I an STILL unemployed but my state aid ran out and there is NO Federal aid so WHY would I keep applying?
I am no longer counted and nether are thousands and thousands of other who also lost all aid.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
4 replies
obama.is.not.a.smidgen.honest July 24 2014 at 2:46 PM

Weekly Applications dropped..!
It doesn't say true unemployment numbers are down.
Only that
WEEKLY APPLICATIONS are down.
So if a person stops applying
(as required each week)
because all their aid expired
then of course
Weekly Applications would drop...
YOU ARE STILL UNEMPLOYED
AND NO LONGER COUNTED.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
3 replies
kevinra1 July 24 2014 at 12:53 PM

How about the title " We run out of people that can apply for Umemployment aid."

Flag Reply +9 rate up
4 replies
BigPugMama July 24 2014 at 12:29 PM

Of course it's "Low" for A lot of Folks,, their "benefits" have gone Bye-Bye.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
2 replies
john BigPugMama July 24 2014 at 12:30 PM

What does that mean?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
Randy john July 24 2014 at 2:15 PM

It means your an idiot

Flag +2 rate up
john BigPugMama July 24 2014 at 12:30 PM

What does that mean?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Mike July 24 2014 at 12:38 PM

Yep, let's see. How about counting the people who have stopped looking and some retired (that age is prevalent right now). How about those working under the table (many). How about this part time economy. More "news" for the minions to buy into.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
3 replies
ron4342 July 24 2014 at 1:50 PM

Ahhhhh! The "I hate Obama" crowd is out in full force. Now if a report like this had come out when bush was in office these people would be so happy they would be peeing in their pants/panties.

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5 replies
Vince July 24 2014 at 2:11 PM

It is a good thing . Repubs can nor want the truth . Like when they were responsible for not extending unemployment . Then try and turn around and take credit for unemployment going down . As f they were all takers . Take some credit Dems.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
rivera8787 Vince July 24 2014 at 5:17 PM

vince....so are we supposed to extend unemployment indefinitely????? Like welfare.....sure maybe the motivated people would get a job eventually but the majority of these lame, entitled, "take care of me Obama" slugs will sit home on their couch and wait for their checks.....just like alot of welfare folks do now. Im NOT going to pay some slug to sit home

Flag Reply 0 rate up
posthuf July 24 2014 at 4:30 PM

The rest of the story:

Economist John Williams of shadowstats.com has comiled an Alternate Unemployment Rate for years, which calculates the true number of long-term discouraged workers before BLS kicks them off unemployment rolls.

Shadowstats rate in 2000 was 10%, rising to almost 13% in mid-2006 (5.5 of Bush).

When 0 was elected in late 2008 the rate was 17%. After 5.5 years of 0 the rate is 24%!

The number of American out of the labor force in 2000 was 70.7 million. After 5.5 years, in May 2006, that number was 77.7 million - an increase of 9.1%.

When 0 took office the number of people out of the work force was 80.2 million. After 5.5 years, May 2014. that number was 92 million - and increase of 14.7%

Between 2000 and May 2006 Bush is credited for 6.8 million jobs created.

0 can be credited for 1.7 million over the same period (1.2 million in government expansion).

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1 reply
posthuf posthuf July 24 2014 at 4:34 PM

More of the rest:

0 can brag all he wants about "9.4 million new jobs," the fact remains the population has grown by more than 12 million LEGAL immigrants.

And the greatest majority of those "9.4 million new jobs" are part-time.

I remember under Carter, our second worst employment president, working three part-time jobs to make ends meet.

I didn't like it then, I don't think our workforce likes it today. But you let the people who don't work elect who will run the country based on who will give them the most, and this time who will take the most from YOU, they formerly 'middle class blue collar worker.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
john July 24 2014 at 12:26 PM

AS the economy improves, watch for the stories about cooking the books go up.

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5 replies
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