Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fall 15,000

By Gina DiFalco,

The amount of unemployed U.S. citizens has fallen 15,000 to 330,000 in just one month. Applications for unemployment benefits help measure the amount of layoffs, and its decrease indicates an improved labor market as we enter a new year.

Labor Department said Thursday that as of the week ending Jan. 4, they’ve seen a decrease of 15,000 applications.

According to the Wall Street Journal, an analyst for the Labor Department suggested this was a "volatile period” due to the holidays and freezing temperatures, but nonetheless, the weather hasn’t affected these numbers.

From August through November, about 200,000 jobs a month have been added by employers, which helps preserve the unemployment rate at its five-year low of 7 percent, the Associated Press reports.

Last month, there were 30,623 reported layoffs, the lowest since June, compared to 45,314 in November.

Business Week notes an economist at UBS Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, Kevin Cummins, predicted, “The labor market is continuing to strengthen as we go into 2014. We should continue to see the unemployment rate go lower.”

image: Wikimedia Commons



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