Quantcast
Connect with us

US jobless claims plunge to 15-year low

Published

on

Now hiring sign (AFP Photo/Spencer Platt)

New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits plunged to the lowest level in nearly 15 years last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, dropped to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 in the week ending January 24, a hefty decline of 43,000 from the prior week’s slightly upwardly revised level of 308,000.

ADVERTISEMENT

It was the lowest level for initial claims since mid-April 2000. The decline in claims was much steeper than expected, with analysts projecting a reading of 301,000.

The Labor Department said there was no particular factor influencing the week’s claims data, which is often volatile.

The four-week moving average, which helps to smooth week-over-week volatility in the data, fell by 8,250 to 298,500 last week. A year ago the average was 335,250.

Analysts said faulty seasonal adjustments involving the year-end holidays were likely to blame for the sharp decline in a week that also included the Martin Luther King Jr holiday.

“The seasonal problems will fade over the next few weeks, allowing the underlying trend to re-emerge,” said Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We have no reason to think it has changed significantly since before the holidays, when claims were running at about 290,000.”

That low trend would be consistent with payroll growth in excess of 250,000, “other things equal,” he said.

The US unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in December, its lowest level since June 2008, as the economy wrapped up its best annual job growth in 15 years, adding nearly three million jobs.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Labor Department is due to release its January jobs report on February 6.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Even Trump’s own health care advisers know nothing about the ‘mythical’ health care plan he brags about: columnist

Published

on

Throughout the 2020 presidential election, it has been obvious that while Democrats and their allies support universal health care — either through an aggressive expansion of Obamacare as former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar have advocated or through the type of Medicare-for-all program proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren — President Donald Trump and other Republicans have no problem with ripping away health insurance from millions of Americans. Trump has maintained that he has a “terrific” plan for health care, but he hasn’t been offering any specifics. And liberal Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell, in a September 17 column, stresses that even Trump’s own health care advisers don’t know about his “terrific” plan.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Bill Barr shows his true colors — and they’re terrifying

Published

on

One of the greatest lessons of the Trump era is one we should have learned a long time ago. The idea of a Republican establishment made up of straight-arrow, patriotic, All-American "adults" has been a myth for decades now, and it needs to be thrown in the rubbish bin once and for all. There may have been a time when most GOP officials, whether conservative or moderate, were "traditionalists" or "institutionalists" or maybe "constitutionalists," but that time is long past. Indeed, at this point there is only one Republican among the 53 in the U.S. Senate whom you could even remotely identify as being in that mold: Mitt Romney. And he is hardly a fearless crusader for truth, justice and the American way.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

‘Idiot’ Trump is more and more ‘out of it’ as COVID-19 death toll cracks 200,000: columnist

Published

on

Calling the president of the United States an "idiot," longtime political observer Michael Tomasky admitted he was appalled by Donald Trump for not only downplaying the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic but also for praising his own leadership during the national health crisis that is set to pass 200,000 deaths within days.

In his column for the Daily Beast, Tomasky pointed to comments the president made during a town hall on ABC about the pandemic that he claims showed the president wants nothing more than to move on from talking about those who have died, calling Trump an "embarrassment" to himself.

Continue Reading