Dear Commons Community,
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell to the lowest point in almost four years last week. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits dropped 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000. It was the fourth drop in five weeks and the fewest number of claims since March 2008 – six months before Lehman Brothers collapsed and only a few months into the Great Recession. The Huffington Post is also reporting that:
“The four-week average for unemployment claims fell for the fifth straight week to 365,250. The average has fallen nearly 13 percent in the past year.
The consistent decline indicates that companies are laying off fewer workers, and hiring is likely picking up further. When applications drop consistently below 375,000, it usually signals that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate…
In January, the economy added a net 243,000 jobs, the most in nine months. And the unemployment rate dropped for the fifth straight month, to 8.3 percent. The economy has added an average of 201,000 jobs per month for the past three months.
Faster economic growth is spurring the additional hiring. The economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the final three months of last year – a full percentage point higher than in the previous quarter. Factory output also got off to a robust start this year, and it ended 2011 with the fastest growth in five years, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.”
This is all very good news and a sign that the economy is improving and people can find jobs to support themselves and their families.