New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits fell last week to their lowest level in more than eight years, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Initial jobless claims, fell by 1,000 to 287,000 in the week ending October 4. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 to 288,000.
Claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, have been trending downward as the jobs market improves. It was the fourth consecutive week that claims have come in below the 300,00 level.
The four-week moving average of claims last week fell by 7,250 to 287,750, the lowest number since early February 2006, the department noted. A year ago, the average stood at 328,500.
The unemployment rate fell to a six-year low of 5.9 percent in September and the economy added 248,000 jobs.
The solid run of job growth this year — an average of 227,000 jobs each month — brought the number of officially unemployed down to 9.3 million, the fewest since July 2008.
“As a share of payroll employment, claims are now very close to hitting a new low; the data begin in 1948,” said Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics in a research note.
“With the pace of firings exceptionally low, and surveys signaling robust hiring, we have to expect very strong payroll growth in Q4, at least.”
Pushback as Trump appointee tries to control Voice of America
Voice of America's chief vowed Tuesday to defend the broadcaster's journalistic independence after an appointee of President Donald Trump said he was removing a "firewall" that prohibits political interference in US-funded media.
Michael Pack, the new chief executive officer of the US Agency for Global Media, which supervises VOA, Radio Free Asia, Cuba-focused Radio Marti and other outlets, said the president enjoys "broad latitude in directing the foreign policy of the United States."
He said he was rescinding a regulation prohibiting the CEO's editorial involvement that had been set by a previous board, which had supervised US broadcasting until June when the Republican-led Senate confirmed Pack to the newly created position.
Trump and Kushner ripped on MSNBC for ‘the dumbest, most suicidal, self-sabotaging politics’
Speaking on MSNBC this Tuesday, contributor John Heilman said it's hard to think of a "stupider thing to do politically in the closing days of a campaign" than to insult African Americans.
Heilman was referring to recent comments from Jared Kushner where he said the African American community has to "want to be successful" in order to benefit from Republican policies.
"So what's the dumbest thing you could do if you're Jared Kushner, the son-in-law?" Heilman said. "Go out and say a bunch of racist crap that would not only inflame African Americans, rightly so, but would give the most powerful motivator of Black turnout in the country, Barack Obama, as talking point as powerful as that one -- you heard Obama going after Jared Kushner ... he was driving the message of raising the stakes for that voting cohort that matters so much, is literally the dumbest, most suicidal, self-sabotaging piece of politics I've seen."
Texas social workers will no longer be allowed to discriminate against LGBTQ Texans and people with disabilities
After backlash from lawmakers and advocates, a state board voted Tuesday to undo a rule change that would have allowed social workers to turn away clients who are LGBTQ or have a disability.
The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council voted unanimously to restore protections for LGBTQ and disabled clients to Texas social workers’ code of conduct just two weeks after removing them.
Gloria Canseco, who was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to lead the behavioral health council, expressed regret that the previous rule change was “perceived as hostile to the LGBTQ+ community or to disabled persons.”