- Canadian Wildfires Causing Issues in IA
- CR Crime Stats Frustrate Police
- Service Dog Awareness From Viral Post
- Vernon Inn To Be Demolished Soon
- Iowa City Man Victim of Email Hack
- KY Clerk Wants Online Marriage Licenses
- U.S. Markets Close Modestly Lower
- Police Release Robbery Suspect Description
- College Readiness Report, Hispanics Behind
- Iowa Officials Promote Travel Deals
- Industry Report: Room for Improvement
- Cosby Admission Released
- Iowa City Converting Streetlights
- Shelly Johns Sentenced
- Pres. Forums on Minority Communities
- Corridor City Most Expensive to Live
- Iran Demands Lifting of Arms Embargo
- Rain, Crash Disrupt Daytona
- Kunis and Kutcher Tie The Knot
- Grateful Dead Tops Record
- No Evidence of Gunshot at Walter Reed
- Greece More Likely to Leave Eurozone
- CR Police Investigate Shooting
- Branstad Explains Budget Decisions
- Vietnam Vets Exhibit in Waterloo
- Two Waterloo Inmates Missing
- Montrose Adds Auxiliary Officers
- Greek Finance Minister Resigns
- ROAD TRIPPIN': Summer Sounds of Cedar Rapids
- Rubio Visiting IA This Week
- Box Office Fizzles Over Long Holiday
- POLL: Parties Split on Key Issues
- Football Vs Soccer In The Corridor
- Frankie House Preparing for Move
- CR Municipal Band Entertains Audiences
- Cars on Display at Newbo Market
- U.S. Defeats Japan 5-2 in World Cup Final
- David Sweat Returned to Prison
- Remembering Cedar County's Heroes
- 'No' Vote in Greece
- USDA Offers Funding for Farmers Markets
- Boy Injured by Falling Bullet
- Child Drowns in Mississippi River
- Officials Catch Escaped Iowa Inmate
- Fireworks Light up the CR Sky
- 14 Hurt in Deck Collapse
- Blatter Blames World Leaders for Corruption
- Progress Made in Iran Nuclear Deal
- Fireworks Show Injures 9 in Colorado
- Bush Takes Trump Comments Personally
Unemployment Filings Hit 5-Year Low
Updated: Thursday, August 1 2013, 07:58 AM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 19,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, the fewest since January 2008. The decline shows the job market continues to strengthen.
The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average slid 4,500 to 345,750. The July figures are typically volatile as the government adjusts for seasonal layoffs in the auto industry.
Still, the trend in weekly unemployment claims in recent months has been positive. Applications, which are a proxy for layoffs, have fallen more than 12 percent this year. That's coincided with average job growth of 202,000 a month since January, up from an average of 180,000 in the previous six months.
On Friday, the government reports on July job growth and unemployment. Analysts forecast 183,000 jobs were added last month, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent from 7.6 percent in June.
A private survey released Wednesday showed surprising strength in the job market. The payroll company ADP said that companies created 200,000 jobs in July, the most for that survey since December. And it revised up its estimate of the number of jobs the private sector created in June to 198,000 from 188,000.
The ADP report is derived from payroll data and tracks private employment. It does not report government hiring. ADP's survey has diverged at times from the U.S. Labor Department's more comprehensive monthly jobs report.
Hiring has remained solid despite a weak economy. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the economy grew at a 1.7 percent annual rate from April through June. That's better than the revised 1.1 percent growth rate from January through March. But it's still too sluggish to rapidly lower unemployment.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday downgraded its assessment of the economy's strength, saying it is growing only modestly. The Fed expects growth will pick up in the second half of the year.
But the cautious message may signal that the central bank is not ready to slow its bond purchases, which have helped push long-term interest rates down and encourage more borrowing and spending.
Stronger job growth had fueled speculation that the Fed could start reducing its $85-billion-a-month in purchases as soon as September. Many economists now say the Fed could delay the start of the tapering until economic growth strengthens.
2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.