Jobless Claims Hit Pre-Recession Levels
2.56M people are receiving benefits, a 6-year low
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 19, 2014 8:40 AM CDT
In this Wednesday, June 18, 2014 photo, job seekers attend a job fair in Burlington, N.C.   (Sam Roberts)

(Newser) – Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, as the number of people collecting jobless aid fell to its lowest level in more than six years. The Labor Department said today that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined to 311,750. There are 2.56 million people receiving benefits. That's the lowest total since October 2007, about two months before the recession began. An economist said the report in a "blinding glimpse of the obvious" is clearly "good news."

Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the relatively low number of people seeking benefits shows that employers are letting go of fewer workers. When businesses are confident enough to keep staff, they may also hire more workers. Job gains should feed stronger economic growth. Monthly job gains have averaged 234,000 for the past three months, up sharply from 150,000 in the previous three. The unemployment rate, which is derived from a separate survey, remained at 6.3% in May—still, that's the lowest rate in more than five years. The low level of applications would suggest similarly strong hiring this month.

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Jun 20, 2014 1:39 PM CDT
Glad to see not all are fooled by the sham perpetuated by the White House. Just one falsehood after another.
Jun 20, 2014 12:16 AM CDT
The Labor Department is controlled by a bunch of Losers.
shona browne
Jun 19, 2014 3:12 PM CDT
Oh, please. For those of you who still don't know, decades ago the government stopped considering someone unemployed if they'd been out of work more than three months. They arbitrarily called them people who were no longer looking. Further, you have to be laid off or fired to get benefits, and often enough people quit for good reasons. And benefits don't last for ever. I am so sick of this propaganda to make an administration look good, and both reps and demos do it.