clear
Saturday February 6th, 2016 6:55AM

Applications for jobless benefits drop; US productivity slows in 4Q

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped 26,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, the lowest level in three months as layoffs remain at pre-recession levels. Meanwhile, another report out of Washington shows that U.S. productivity slowed in the fourth quarter.

The Labor Department says the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell slightly to a seasonally adjusted 336,500.

That average indicates that companies are cutting few jobs and anticipate steady economic growth despite the winter slowdown. Applications are a rough proxy for layoffs.

Economists are watching these numbers ahead of the February jobs report being released Friday. Cold weather and snowstorms appear to have limited hiring in January and December.

A total of 3.4 million Americans received benefits as of Feb. 15 - the latest period for which figures are available - down from 3.49 million the previous week.

US PRODUCTIVITY

U.S. productivity grew at an even slower annual rate than previously thought in the final three months of last year.

Economists are hoping productivity growth will revive in 2014, reflecting a stronger economy.

The Labor Department says productivity grew at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the October-December quarter, a slowdown from 3.5 percent productivity growth in the third quarter.

The new estimate was lower than the 3.2 percent gain the government had previously reported. Unit labor costs dipped 0.1 percent, a smaller drop than the 1.6 percent drop previously estimated.

For the year, productivity increased a tiny 0.5 percent, continuing a weak trend seen over the past three years. Analysts are forecasting a rebound in productivity this year, helped by stronger economic growth.
© 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.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
The Republican Party's leading presidential candidates will meet on the debate stage once again Saturday night _ with a new sense of urgency
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — With one primary contest over and another three days away, the Republican Party's leading presidential candidates will meet on the debate stage once again Saturday night — with...
5:06AM ( 1 hour ago )
Search for Missouri couple wanted for crimes across the South, including Ga., ends with one suspect dead and the other wounded
A weeklong search for a Missouri couple wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended with one suspect dead and the other wounded Friday, after authorities say they chased the pair across the highway and through a rural neighborhood and exchanged gunfire with them in Florida's Panhandle.
By The Associated Press
9:57PM ( 8 hours ago )
Stocks finish another down week sharply lower on worries that the risk of a recession in the US, while still low, is growing
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks posted steep losses Friday, ending the week with broad declines, as investors fretted over a report showing that U.S. job creation slowed last month.Technology stocks fell espec...
7:19PM ( 11 hours ago )
Missing Rabun County teen located
A missing teenager from Rabun County has been located, according to officials with the Rabun County Sheriff's Office.
4:21PM ( 14 hours ago )
Georgia Supreme Court to hear Hart County case Monday
A woman seeking to visit the father she claims is in poor health in Hart County is scheduled to have her appeal heard next week by the Georgia Supreme Court.
2:46PM ( 16 hours ago )