Saturday, March 26, 2011

Applications for Unemployment Aid Drop Slightly

Although the housing market continues to struggle, it looks like the job market is finally showing signs of improvement! According to reports, the number of people seeking unemployment dropped by 5,000 last week.

From the Associated Press:

    Applications at about 375,000 or below indicate a sustained increase in hiring. Applications peaked during the recession at 651,000. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits are considered a gauge of the pace of layoffs.

    "The economy is getting better, demand is growing," said Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak. "There is only so much companies can do with their existing payrolls. At some point they have to expand."

    Private-sector employers could add as many as 200,000 net new employees in March, Greenhaus said. That's similar to February's gain, which was the most in almost a year.

    Separately, companies ordered fewer long-lasting manufactured goods last month, purchasing fewer computers, machines and primary metals. The Commerce Department said Thursday that orders for durable goods dropped 0.9 percent in February, the fourth decline in the past five months. A key category that measures business investment fell for the second straight month.

    The number of people receiving unemployment benefits fell for the fifth straight week to 3.7 million. But that doesn't include 4.3 million people who are receiving extended benefits under emergency federal programs enacted during the recession.

    As applications have fallen, hiring has started to pick up. The economy added a net total of 192,000 jobs in February, the most in nearly a year. Many economists are expecting similar gains in March.

Continued here…

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