Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
US unemployment claims rise 7K to 343K
Economy » Broader trend is consistent with improving job market.
First Published Jul 25 2013 01:57 pm • Last Updated Jul 25 2013 01:57 pm

WASHINGTON • The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose by 7,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 343,000.

The increase in the week ending July 20 follows a drop of 22,000 the previous week. But the broader trend is consistent with an improving job market.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The four-week average, which smooths out weekly fluctuations, fell 1,250 to 345,250, according to the Labor Department.

"Claims continue to signal no let-up in employment growth," Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, wrote in a research note.

Weekly applications data can be volatile in July. Automakers typically shut their factories the first two weeks of the month to prepare for new models, leading to temporary layoffs. But this year much of the industry has skipped or shortened the shutdowns to meet stronger demand.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. They’re down nearly 8 percent this year. Employers have added an average 202,000 new jobs a month this year, up from an average 183,000 in 2012.

In June, employers added 195,000 jobs. The unemployment rate stayed at 7.6 percent last month but is down from 8.2 percent a year earlier.

Job growth has been solid despite lackluster economic growth. Economists expect the economy grew at an annual rate of less than 1 percent in the April-June quarter, even worse than an unimpressive 1.8 percent the first three months of the year. Federal spending cuts that took effect in March have hobbled economic growth.

Many economists are hopeful that steady hiring will help spur faster growth in the second half of the year.

More than 4.8 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits the week that ended July 6, the latest data available. That is down nearly 20 percent from 6 million a year earlier.


story continues below
story continues below

Some parts of the economy have proven resilient.

The U.S. housing recovery is strengthening, for example. Sales of newly built homes rose 8.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 497,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That’s the highest since May 2008 and up from an annual rate of 459,000 in May.

Sales are still below the 700,000 pace consistent with healthy markets. But they are up 38 percent in the past 12 months. That’s the biggest annual gain since January 1992.

New-home sales make up only a small part of the market. But they have an outsize economic impact. Each home built creates an average of three new jobs and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.