Filings for unemployment benefits plunged last week to the lowest level since 1973, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.
Only 222,000 Americans filed jobless claims for the first time last week, the fewest since March 1973.
The latest period also encompasses the reporting week that the Labor Department surveys for its October employment figures. Claims being at the lowest level in more than four decades, they indicate employers have little desire to cut staffing levels amid a shortage of qualified workers.
We did not see this under Obama, and surely would not have seen it under Hillary.
It’s an incredible sign of a healthy economy. Millions of Americans have been hired in recent years, unemployment is at a 16-year low of 4.2%, and wages seem to be finally starting to rise meaningfully.
America’s job market is red hot. We can also thank Florida, Texas, Georgia and Michigan, as they took the lead on the drop in unemployment!
US News and World Report explains:
The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since Richard Nixon was president.
THE NUMBERS: The Labor Department said Thursday that claims for jobless aid dropped by 22,000 to 222,000, fewest since March 1973. The less volatile four-week average slid by 9,500 to 248,250, lowest since late August.
The overall number of Americans collecting unemployment checks dropped to 1.89 million, lowest since December 1973 and down nearly 9 percent from a year ago.
THE TAKEAWAY: Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. The low level suggests that employers are confident enough in the economy to hold onto workers.
The unemployment rate last month hit a 16-year low 4.2 percent. Employers cut 33,000 jobs in September — the first monthly drop in nearly seven years — but only because Hurricanes Harvey and Irma rattled the economies of Texas and Florida; hiring is expected to bounce back.
The economy did lose 33,000 jobs in September, but that was mostly because of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Job growth was expected to rebound in October and later this fall.
Claims for unemployment insurance are one of the indicators most watched by economists as a barometer of the job market.
But collecting accurate figures on claims in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida is more difficult than usual because of the hurricanes. Much of Puerto Rico is still without electricity.
Still, the overall picture is bright. When unemployment peaked at 10% in 2009, shortly after the Great Recession, initial jobless claims were over 650,000.
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent between April and June.
It was nice comeback from the tepid 1.2 percent annual growth rate of the first quarter and more in line with the turbo-charged growth of 3 percent that has been promised by the Trump administration.
The latest growth was partially driven by an increase in consumer spending. It’s a positive sign that Americans are opening up their wallets, especially since consumer spending makes up about 70 percent of the economy.
Growth under Obama was not robust. The economy has not achieved a 3 percent level of annual growth since he was elected.
But this year, as business feels more confident, it is rising. Obama held the economy back with job killing regulations. While Trump has removed many of those regulations, much has not yet affected the economy. We see strong improvement ahead!
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