partlycloudy
Friday February 12th, 2016 5:33PM

Unemployment benefit applications fall to 336K

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000 last week, bringing applications to pre-recession levels.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average dropped 9,250 to 348,250. The average was elevated by the 16-day partial government shutdown and backlogs in California that occurred because of computer upgrades. Weekly applications have fallen for four straight weeks.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The decline suggests companies are cutting very few workers. Still, they are not hiring many new ones. Falling applications are typically followed by more job gains. But hiring has slowed in recent months, rather than accelerated.

The economy added an average 143,000 jobs a month from July through September. That's down from an average of 182,000 in April through June, and 207,000 during the first three months of the year.

October's jobs report, to be released Friday, likely will look even weaker. Economists expect that employers added just 122,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent, according to FactSet.

But much of the weakness in October's jobs report will likely reflect the temporary impact of the shutdown. Most economists expect any spike in the jobless rate will be reversed in November.

The economy was strengthening ahead of the shutdown, the government said Thursday in a separate report. Growth accelerated at a 2.8 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, up from a 2.5 percent rate in the April-June quarter.
© 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.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
Banks County pauses to honor fallen U.S. officers
Banks County Sheriff's Office officials and members of the community paused Friday to pray for law enforcement and remember fallen officers from around the country.
4:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
Authorities seize $566,000 in meth, marijuana in Gainesville bust
​Drug agents and police officers seized 20 ounces of methamphetamine, five guns and three marijuana plants during the arrest of a Gainesville man this week.
3:52PM ( 1 hour ago )
Police standoff ends peacefully at Gainesville hotel
It took about 90 minutes for Gainesville Police to take a suspect into custody Friday afternoon, following a standoff outside a hotel room.
2:50PM ( 2 hours ago )
VIDEO: Officials open new Hall County Correctional Institute, warden touts cost savings
The new Hall County Correctional Institute opened with a ceremonial ribbon cutting Friday by Warden Walt Davis, who touted his department's ability to bring the cost of the $7 million facility down nearly 50 percent.
2:12PM ( 3 hours ago )
UNG fraternity suspended by national office for hazing, alcohol allegations
The National Fraternity of Sigma Nu has suspended the Kappa chapter at the University of North Georgia.
2:09PM ( 3 hours ago )