Initial jobless claims reach near 7-year low

While jobless claims are near seven-year lows, analysts expect an small uptick on account of summer shutdowns in the auto industry.
By Ananth Baliga   |   July 10, 2014 at 11:55 AM
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, July 10 (UPI) -- The number of Americans filing for jobless claims fell to a near seven-year low last week, signaling improved conditions in the job market.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 11,000 for the week ending July 5, bringing claims to a seasonally adjusted 304,000. The number was lower than the 319,000 new claims forecast by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

The four-week moving average, which helps even out any volatility in the numbers, fell by 3,500 to 311,500, with the Labor Department revising claims numbers for the week ending June 28 to 315,000.

Numbers released this week were the third-lowest this year and are encouraging for economists who have been concerned with the sluggish pace of recovery in the labor market.

Claims are traditionally volatile this time of year due to vacation periods and summer shutdowns in the auto manufacturing industry. This could cause an increase in claims in coming weeks.

"Sooner or later...the auto shutdowns will hit the claims data," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

While the unemployment rate hovers around 6.1 percent and has shown steady improvement, the labor market suggests that most people would prefer full-time employment as opposed to the part-time jobs they are currently working.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy drops bid for speaker
WikiLeaks offering $50K for video of Afghan hospital bombing
Murdoch sorry for implying Obama's not a 'real black president'
Reid sues exercise companies over eye injury
Lumber Liquidators to pay $10M in DOJ settlement