There has been an increase in the no. of people seeking U.S unemployment benefits last week after falling sharply 2 weeks back. In spite of this rise, the levels of applications remains near the pre-recession levels and this is a sign that hiring is likely to be unhealthy.
The number of weekly unemployment benefit applications rose from 12k to 293k, the Labor Department stated on Thursday. Yet the 4 week average fell for a 2nd straight week to 298,500.
In a research note, the Chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, Ian Shepherdson said that “The figures are “very low … close to all-time lows when measured as a share of payrolls. We expect robust job growth in the months ahead.”
2 weeks ago, the applications had plummeted to 281,000. Since last year, there was a fall in the 4-week average for applications by 7.1 percent. During the recession in the year 2009, they had climbed above 650,000.
Applications are considered to be a proxy for layoffs. Fewer applications are indication of employers holding onto the workers, mainly because they have more confidence about the economy. It is also the indication of boost in hiring. The total number of people who received the benefits went up to 2.4 million.
An year back, the unemployment aid was being received by 3.9 million people. There has been a sharp fall in the number partly because of the expiration of extended benefits.