U.S. jobless claims dip to five-year lowSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 25/01/2013 7:10 am in World / no comments
WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 — The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid reached a five-year low last week as the U.S. jobless rate continued to decline, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits was 330,000 in the week ending Jan. 19, down 5,000 from the previous week’s revised figure. It was the lowest level since Jan. 19, 2008.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, which helps smooth out week-to-week volatility, also fell to 351,750 from the previous week. Fewer than 375,000 claims generally indicates a sustained drop in the unemployment rate.
The decline may highlight the challenges in adjusting the numbers for swings after the holiday shopping season. Layoffs tend to shrink in early January and then rebound at the end of the month.
The advance figure for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Jan. 12 was 3.157 million, a decrease of 71,000 from the prior week.
The decreasing claims for jobless claims indicated employers cut fewer jobs, but hiring remained modest due to political and economic uncertainties.
In December 2012, U.S. businesses added 155,000 jobs, a pace not strong enough to bring down the unemployment rate by a large margin, which still stood at 7.8 percent.