Applications for US jobless aid plunge

Apr 2, 2015 11:33 AM by News Staff

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped significantly last week, a sign of a strong job market despite evidence of tepid economic growth in the opening months of 2015.

The Labor Department says weekly applications for jobless aid fell 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 268,000. The decrease shows that a slowdown in manufacturing and construction has failed to spook employers, who may be anticipating a strong spring rebound after a bleak winter.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, tumbled 14,750 to 285,500. Over the past 12 months, the average has fallen 11.7 percent.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The relatively low average shows that employers are holding onto workers and may increase hiring. Applications below 300,000 are generally consistent with solid monthly job gains.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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