clear
Tuesday May 5th, 2015 8:34PM

Applications for unemployment aid up slightly

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose a slight 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, evidence that the job market's recovery remains modest and uneven.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 3,750 to 368,000.

Applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. When they fall consistently below 375,000, it generally suggests hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

Applications have risen for two straight weeks. But they are still lower than they were five weeks ago. That suggests hiring could improve slightly this month.

The economy and job growth have been improving a bit after falling into a midyear slump, though neither is particularly strong.

One area of improvement has been the housing market, which is slowly but steadily recovering. Sales of previously occupied homes rose 2.3 percent in July from June, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. Sales jumped more than 10 percent in the past year.

Other recent reports have contributed to the picture of a healing industry. Home prices are rising nationwide. And builders are growing increasingly confident because they're seeing more traffic from potential buyers. An index of builder confidence rose to its highest level in five years in August.

Builders responded by applying for the largest number of building permits in nearly four years last month. They broke ground on slightly fewer new homes in July than in June. But that was after the number of housing starts had reached a 3 1/2-year high in June.

In another positive sign, Americans boosted their retail spending in July by the most in five months, the Commerce Department said last week. That suggests yet more confidence in the economy.

And factory output rose in July for the second straight month, according to a report Wednesday from the Federal Reserve. That raised hopes that manufacturers were recovering from a slowdown in the early summer. A jump in auto production was a key reason for the increase.

Better growth also boosted hiring last month. Employers added 163,000 jobs in July, the most since February. Job gains averaged only 73,000 jobs a month from April through June, not enough to keep up with a rising population. The unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent in June.

Most economists say stronger growth is needed to create enough jobs to lower unemployment. The economy grew at an annual rate of 1.5 percent from April through June, down from 2 percent in the first quarter and 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

© 2012 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.


BASKETBALL NEWS
CLIPPERS' CHRIS PAUL UNDERGOES THUMB SURGERY

1 DAY AGO
AURIEMMA: NO INTEREST IN COACHING AT 2016 OLYMPICS

6 DAYS AGO
GABBY DOUGLAS IS GOLDEN IN 'TONIGHT' APPEARANCE

1 WEEK AGO
NO AGE LIMIT

1 WEEK AGO
AS OLYMPICS CLOSE, US LEADS OVERALL MEDALS RACE

1 WEEK AGO
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Doctors: Blood clot located in Clinton's head
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton developed a blood clot in her head but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday. They say they are confident that she will make a full recovery.
3:55PM ( 2 years ago )
Illinois Sen. Kirk to return a year after stroke
Nearly a year after a stroke left him barely able to move the left side of his body, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is expected to climb the 45 steps to the Senate's front door this week - a walk that's significant not just for Illinois' junior senator, but also for medical researchers and hundreds of thousands of stroke patients.
3:54PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Ga. ethics legislation could end free tickets
General Assembly approval next year of a proposed ethics reform measure could endanger an important fall tradition for Georgia lawmakers - free football tickets.
6:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Abortion restrictions, tax changes loom in Ga.
Tax breaks for manufacturers and higher unemployment taxes for employers take effect with the new year in Georgia, but it remains to be seen whether the state's newest abortion restrictions will be enforced.
6:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Business News
Couch names administrative team
Ahead of his scheduled swearing in Friday, Hall County Sheriff-elect Gerald Couch named his top administrative team Monday.
6:28PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Hall Co. officials launch health-based initiative for employees
Hall County officials believe healthy county employees will be of greater service to the county. With that in mind, they have created a health-based fitness initiative to provide free fitness training for county workers.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Dozens turn out to Gainesville City Council meeting to voice opposition for at-large voting
Dozens of people showed up at Tuesday night's Gainesville City Council meeting to voice their opinions in opposition to the city's at-large voting system.
7:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
Dump truck driver in Gainesville wreck identified
Georgia State Patrol troppers have identified the male dump truck driver in serious condition after his truck overturned on Queen City Parkway Tuesday morning.
5:56PM ( 2 hours ago )
Hall Co. authorities search for woman missing since March
The Hall County Sheriff's Office is looking for a woman missing since March of this year.
4:46PM ( 3 hours ago )
Ted Cruz to keynote victory dinner at state GOP Convention
Texas senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz will keynote the Victory Dinner at the 2015 Georgia Republican Party State Convention in Athens.
3:31PM ( 5 hours ago )
Bicyclist killed in Jackson Co. hit and run was local pastor
The bicyclist killed in a crash with a hit and run driver Monday has been identified as a Gainesville pastor.
12:11PM ( 8 hours ago )