You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Applications for US jobless aid reach 5-year low


By Christopher S. Rugaber

AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans sought unemployment aid last week, reducing the average number of weekly applications last month to a five-year low. The drop shows that fewer layoffs are strengthening the job market.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications fell 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 332,000. That reduced the four-week average to 346,750, the lowest since the week of March 8, 2008, three months after the Great Recession began.

The report “provides further evidence of a gradual strengthening in labor market conditions,” Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients.

Investors appeared to view the report as further evidence that job growth and the economy are strengthening. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 64 points in mid-day trading, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index neared its all-time high.

Applications for unemployment aid are a proxy for layoffs, and their steady decline signals that companies are laying off fewer and fewer workers. It suggests that companies aren’t worried that business might fall off in the near future.

Still, mass layoffs are occurring. For example, YRC Freight filed papers this week that showed it will close its Butler County trucking terminal this spring, a move that will impact more than 500 workers, according to a layoff notice the company filed the state.

The number of applications for benefits has dropped five times in the past six weeks and has declined 13 percent since mid-November. At the same time, net hiring has picked up. Employers added an average of 200,000 jobs a month from November through February — up from about 150,000 a month in the previous four months. And the unemployment rate reached a four-year low of 7.7 percent in February.

During the Great Recession, layoffs spiked, and applications for unemployment benefits peaked at 667,000 in the week that ended March 28, 2009. In a healthy economy, applications usually fluctuate between 300,000 and 350,000.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Miamisburg candy store now selling pickle juice soda
Miamisburg candy store now selling pickle juice soda

Are you ready for Pickle Juice Soda Pop? Miamisburg-based Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop is now selling dill pickle-flavored pop in stores and online. The vintage-style store at 42 South Main St. in downtown Miamisburg has more than 200 bottles of specialty sodas. “If you’re the kind of pickle lover who relishes all things pickled, this...
Waffle House co-founder dies a month after business partner
Waffle House co-founder dies a month after business partner

Both of the founders of Waffle House have died, just two months apart. Co-founder Tom Forkner died earlier this week at 98 years old, just two months after his business partner Joe Rogers Sr. died in early March. Rogers was 97 years old. “Tom will be remembered as a man of honesty and integrity,” Waffle House Chairman Joe Rogers Jr...
Ohio’s largest 100 employers in 2017: Walmart tops the list
Ohio’s largest 100 employers in 2017: Walmart tops the list

Walmart is back on top as Ohio’s biggest employer, regaining the No. 1 spot from the Cleveland Clinic, which usurped the giant Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer last year, according to a new list of the state’s top 100 employers. Walmart — with 173 retail operations, including nearly two dozen in the Dayton area — has 50,500...
PHOTOS: Nearly $1M Washington Twp. home for sale
PHOTOS: Nearly $1M Washington Twp. home for sale

A Washington Twp. house that features panoramic views of a wooded lawn is on sale for nearly $1 million. The home, located at 10765 Falls Creek Lane in the Waterbury Woods subdivision, is listed for $999,000 by Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors. It sits on three-fourths of an acre property on a cul-de-sac. The 8,350 square feet of living space features...
Time running out on Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations
Time running out on Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations

Negotiations between southwest Ohio’s largest health system, Dayton-based Premier Health, and UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurance company, remained at a standstill Thursday with the first deadline for their contract to expire rapidly approaching. UnitedHealthcare’s contract with Premier hospitals is set to expire...
More Stories