US claims for unemployment aid rise by 20,000 to 243,000

US claims for unemployment aid rise by 20,000 to 243,000

By Paul Wiseman, Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 9, 2017 at 6:55 a.m.


1 photo

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but claims remained low enough to suggest that most workers enjoy job security.

THE NUMBERS: The Labor Department said Thursday that applications for jobless aid rose by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 243,000, up from a 44-year-low 223,000 the week before. The four-week average, which is less volatile, blipped up by 2,250 to 236,500.

Overall, 2.06 million Americans are collecting unemployment checks, down more than 6 percent from a year ago.

THE TAKEAWAY: Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. They have now come in below 300,000 for 105 straight weeks, longest such streak since 1970. The low level of claims suggests that employers are confident enough in the economy to be holding on to staff.

KEY DRIVERS: The U.S. job market is solid. Employers added a healthy 227,000 jobs in January.

The unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, close to what economists consider full employment.

The Federal Reserve has strongly hinted that it thinks the economy is strong enough to justify an increase in short-term interest rates at its meeting next week.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos

Paul Wiseman

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast