clear
Thursday February 11th, 2016 10:53PM

Applications for jobless benefits fall to 331k

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits declined 20,000 last week to 331,000, suggesting that Americans are facing fewer layoffs and better job prospects.

The Labor Department said the four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up 250 to 334,000. That remains near pre-recession levels and serves as evidence that job losses have waned.

A total of 3.47 million Americans received benefits as of Jan. 18, down from 3.58 million the week before.

The January employment report being released Friday by the Labor Department will show whether hiring has improved. A scant 74,000 jobs were added in December, the fewest in three years. Most economists forecast that hiring will rebound in January to roughly match the monthly average of 185,000 jobs gained over the past two years.

The unemployment rate fell in December to 6.7 percent from 7 percent. But much of the decline was due to the departure of about 347,000 unemployed people who stopped looking for work. Once people without jobs stop looking for one, they're no longer counted as unemployed.

A private sector jobs report by ADP, a payroll processor, said Wednesday that companies added 175,000 jobs in January. The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and diverged sharply from the government's more comprehensive report in December.

ADP reported 227,000 new jobs in December, or 153,000 more than what the Labor Department did.

Separately, the unemployment rate could continue to fall in January because of a continued workforce exodus.

About 1.4 million fewer Americans are receiving unemployment benefits after a 5-year old emergency federal program expired Dec. 28. The program provided up to 47 extra weeks of unemployment aid paid for by the federal government after the jobless had exhausted their state benefits.

Recent economic reports have fueled concerns of a slowdown in the United States and other economies worldwide.

Stock markets have plummeted. U.S. manufacturing has experienced a slowdown, according to a private survey released Monday by the Institute for Supply Management. Turmoil in emerging economies such as China and Turkey and signs of slower growth in the United States have also raised doubts about whether the Federal Reserve will continue to pare down its monthly bond purchases.

Still, many economists have become more optimistic about the economy accelerating this year. Several are predicting a solid annual growth rate of 3 percent or more, the strongest performance since 2005.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 1 year ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 1 year ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 1 year ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 1 year ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 1 year ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
South Hall wedding venue approved by county commissioners
The Hall County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a 42 acre tract of land in South Hall as an agri-entertainment venue to house weddings and other gatherings at its voting session Thursday night at the Hall County Government Center.
10:20PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Atlanta police officer shot and killed in incident just south of Hartsfield-Jackson airport
A police officer in suburban Atlanta was shot twice and killed Thursday by a suspect who was also wounded during a law enforcement operation, authorities said.
By The Associated Press
9:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
More than 45 prison guards and officers in Georgia have been indicted on charges of accepting bribes and drug trafficking
ATLANTA (AP) — Dozens of Georgia prison guards agreed to protect drug smuggling operations for a high-level trafficker, believing their status as correctional officers would protect them from a vehicl...
4:59PM ( 5 hours ago )
Officials investigate suspicious fire, third in less than a week in Barrow County
While investigators believe it was internationally set, they don't believe a fire in a vacant mobile home Wednesday night is related to two suspicious weekend fires.
2:30PM ( 8 hours ago )
Firefighters battle residential fire in South Hall
​While early reports indicated someone was still inside, a search of a residence on fire in South Hall County found no one Thursday afternoon, fire officials said.
1:51PM ( 9 hours ago )