clear
Sunday May 29th, 2016 7:35PM

US unemployment aid applications drop to 358,000

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Applications for US unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000 last week, though the figure was distorted for the second straight week by California's efforts to clear backlogged claims.

The Labor Department says the less volatile four-week average rose 11,750 to 336,500.

Applications have jumped in the past two weeks, distorted by computer upgrades in two states and the 16-day partial government shutdown. Prior to those unusual factors, claims had reached pre-recession levels, a sign that companies are cutting very few workers.

California and Michigan continued to sift through backlogged claims held up by computer changes. Furloughed private-sector workers drove up applications by 15,000 two weeks ago. About 70,000 furloughed federal employees also sought benefits in the week ending Oct. 5, although those workers aren't included in the overall totals.

A government spokesman didn't say how the furloughs affected last week's figures.

The government opened for business on Thursday. Federal employees who receive back pay will likely have to reimburse the government if they claimed unemployment benefits during the two-week shutdown, although the law varies by state.

Before the government shutdown and California's backlog, applications had been trending lower and fell to a six-year low three weeks ago, thought that figure was pushed lower by California's delays.

Falling applications for unemployment benefits are typically followed by more hiring. But so far, there haven't been many signs of that happening.

The shutdown has delayed a raft of government data, including September's employment report. And it will likely affect hiring and weigh on the economic growth in the October-December quarter.

Several economists have cut their forecasts for fourth-quarter growth by half a percentage point to about 2 percent or lower.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 2 years ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Missing Ga. bank director arrested in Brunswick
A bank director accused of losing millions of investors' dollars before vanishing last year was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop in a city in south Georgia.
7:00PM ( 2 years ago )
Amtrak to suspend some Crescent service in Jan., Feb.
Amtrak service will shut down in parts of the Southeast for several days in January and February for rail maintenance by Norfolk Southern Railway.
9:00AM ( 2 years ago )
Lung cancer scans urged for some smokers, not all
Certain current or former heavy smokers should start getting yearly scans for lung cancer to cut their risk of death from the nation's top cancer killer, government advisers said Monday - even as they stressed that the tests aren't for everyone.
7:26AM ( 2 years ago )
Business News
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 2 years ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Victim critical following apartment fire
A 41-year-old woman was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after being rescued from an apartment fire in Forsyth County late Monday afternoon.
3:16PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Alexander Rossi pulls off stunning upset in 100th Indy 500
Alexander Rossi outlasted his faster rivals _ and his fuel tank _ for a stunning victory Sunday in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500
5:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
Braselton hospital first in state for StormReady certification
The Braselton campus of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center has been designated with the StormReady certification from the National Weather Service.
1:30PM ( 6 hours ago )
City of Oakwood prepares for widening of Old Oakwood Road
The city of Oakwood is planning to widen a portion of Old Oakwood Road to improve traffic operations along the commercial corridor.
10:30AM ( 9 hours ago )
Two injured in Saturday wreck on Queen City Parkway
Two people were taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center Saturday afternoon following a wreck on Queen City Parkway.
10:06AM ( 9 hours ago )
New pier to be built at Sims Lake Park in Suwanee
Officials in Suwanee have given approval for a new pier to be built at Sims Lake Park.
7:00AM ( 12 hours ago )