Fewer people applying for unemployment

FILE - In this July 19, 2016, file photo, people fill out job applications at a job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. On Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016, the Labor Department reported that fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits the week before. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, continuing a nearly two-year trend that suggests a solid job market.

THE NUMBERS: Weekly requests for jobless aid fell 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The less volatile four-week moving average for claims was 263,000.

Over the past year, the number of people collecting benefits has fallen almost 5 percent to 2.1 million.

THE TAKEAWAY: The historically low number of people seeking jobless aid is a positive sign for the economy.

Weekly jobless claims below 300,000 often point to healthy hiring levels. The low level of applications indicates that employers are holding onto workers and possibly looking to expand. Claims have stayed below 300,000 for 95 straight weeks, the longest streak since 1970.

KEY DRIVERS: Consumer spending has been strong enough to sustain job growth, even though global pressures appear to have stunted overall economic gains during the 2016.

U.S. employers have added 2.25 million jobs over the past 12 months. And in November, the unemployment rate fell to a nine-year low of 4.6 percent.

NBC4i.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s