Related News

Home » Business » Economy

US sees traces of good news

THE number of Americans on the unemployment insurance rolls fell slightly for the first time in 20 weeks, while the tally of new jobless claims also dipped, the United States government said yesterday.

The Labor Department report provides a glimmer of good news for job seekers, though both drops were small and the figures remain significantly above the levels associated with a healthy economy.

The department also said US workers were more productive in the first quarter than previously estimated, as rapid layoffs forced companies to make do with fewer employees.

The compilation of first-time claims for unemployment benefits declined to a seasonally adjusted 621,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 625,000, nearly matching expectations of analysts.

The total jobless benefit rolls fell by 15,000 to 6.7 million, the first drop since early January. Continuing claims had set record highs every week since the week ended January 24. The continuing claims data lag initial claims by one week.

Still, the number of initial claims remains stubbornly high, above the 605,000 level reached five weeks ago. That was the lowest level in 14 weeks.

The four-week average of claims, which smooths out fluctuations, rose by 4,000 to 631,250.

Productivity, the amount of output per hour worked, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.6 percent in the January-March period, the department said, double the government's estimate last month.

The increase came despite a steep drop in output, because companies laid off employees and cut hours worked at an even faster pace.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend