- Pilot House goes smoke-free (4/23/17)10
- Without city record, Marie Street residents on hook for thousands in sewer repairs (4/19/17)7
- Event includes the first public tour of 200-year-old Elmwood Manor (4/23/17)3
- BBB warns Jackson man's online business might not be legit (4/24/17)
- Few Southeast students face suspension, expulsion for sexual assaults, campus paper finds (4/25/17)5
- Man out on bond for alleged molestation of boys charged with abusing girl (4/18/17)
- Cape councilman Bob Fox to run for mayor (4/21/17)5
- Woman battered after smashing boyfriend's meth pipe against wall, police say (4/25/17)
- Deputy: Man kicked, broke uncle's ribs after yard-work dispute (4/19/17)
- Sikeston man charged in shooting death of Cape man (4/23/17)
Jobless claims fall to lowest level since early September
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON --The number of new people signing up for jobless benefits fell sharply last week, offering a dose of encouraging news that the recovery in the labor market may be strengthening a bit.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that new filings for unemployment insurance declined by a seasonally adjusted 25,000 to 329,000 for the week ending Oct. 16. That marked the lowest level since early September. In the prior week, claims had climbed by 16,000.
The latest snapshot of the layoffs climate was better than economists were expecting. They were forecasting claims to total in the 345,000 range.
The more stable, four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out week-to-week fluctuations, decreased by 5,500 last week to 348,250, the best showing since late September.
President Bush and his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Kerry, frequently spar over the health of the economy and the availability of jobs in the United States. Bush says his tax cuts helped the economy to rebound from the 2001 recession. Kerry contends the tax cuts mainly benefited the wealthy and plunged the government's balance sheets deeper into red ink.
Some analysts are predicting the economy, which grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter, expanded at around a 4 percent pace in the July-to-September quarter. Although the nation's payrolls have been growing this year, the economy has lost a net 821,000 jobs since Bush took office in 2001.
Thursday's report also showed that the number of people continuing to collect unemployment benefits fell by 8,000 to nearly 2.8 million for the week ending Oct. 9, the most recent period for which that information is available. That's an improvement from a year ago, when this figure stood at 3.5 million.