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jueves, 5 de julio de 2012

Report and More : Jobless claims fall 14,000 to 374,000

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch)
The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in a month and a half, U.S. data showed, but the pace of claims remains at a level associated with mediocre hiring trends
Initial claims dropped by 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 374,000 in the week ended June 30,
the Labor Department said Thursday
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had projected claims would total 386,000
The ECB cut its main interest rate to a historic low of 0.75%
China surprised the market with its second cut in less than a month and the Bank of England boosts quantitative easing by $78 billion
The level of claims is a rough gauge of whether layoffs are rising or falling
Until the latest drop, first-time claims had totaled 380,000 or higher for five straight weeks, a worrisome sign after new applications fell in February to a four-year low of 361,000
Although last week’s surprising decline is welcome, economists caution summertime data can be distorted by temporary layoffs at auto companies and other manufacturers as they retool plants
Initial claims could turn higher again over the next few weeks
A Labor spokesman said nothing appeared to be unusual in the latest report, however
Still, the elated level of claims over the past few months suggests the U.S. endured another slow pace of job creation in June
The monthly employment report tracking nonfarm payrolls will be released Friday.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch forecast the U.S. gained a net 100,000 jobs last month
While that would mark an increase from an initially estimated 69,000 in May and from 77,000 in April, it would be less than half the number of people hired during the late winter months
The slow-growing U.S. economy cannot expand much faster, analysts warn, until hiring accelerates and the unemployment rate falls sharply
The unemployment rate stood at 8.2% in May
Yet a slew of fresh data, including a key survey this week of U.S. manufacturers, appear to indicate that growth is tapering off
That does not bode well for companies hiring more workers in the near future
The average of new claims over the past month, meanwhile, decreased by 1,500 to 385,750, though it remains near a 2012 high
The four-week average reduces seasonal volatility in the weekly data and is seen as a more accurate barometer of labor-market trends
Continuing claims increased by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.31 million in the week ended June 23
Continuing claims reflect the numbers of people already receiving benefits and are reported with a one-week lag
About 5.87 million people received some kind of state or federal benefit in the week ended June 16, down 20,439 from the prior week
Total claims are reported with a two-week lag
Also Thursday, the Labor Department said initial claims for jobless benefits two weeks ago were revised up to 388,000 from an original reading of 386,000, based on more complete data collected at the state level

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