- Volcano Threats Downgraded
- Starbucks Glitch Fixed
- Sen. Rand Paul Visits IA
- Red Cross Volunteers Install Life-Saving Gift
- Indiana College Student Found Dead
- RAW: First District House Rep. Rod Blum Talks about Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina
- RAW: Potential Presidential Candidate Scott Walker after his meet and greet in Cedar Rapids
- RAW: Presidential Candidate Rand Paul talks about fist-bumping Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton and Young Americans for Liberty
- Hundreds Dead in Nepal Quake
- Large Crowds Expected in Baltimore
- Little Free Libraries In Hiawatha
- Cedar Rapids Budget Appeal Rejected
- Rockwell Workers Relieve Stress With Yoga
- Deadly Crashes Dropping Among Teens
- RAW NEWS: Victim's Family Speaks
- Remembering Lynnsey Donald
- Summit Attracts Big GOP Names
- Girl with Leukemia Dismissed from School
- Cedar Rapids Celebrates Arbor Day
- Walker Running on a Record
- Cedar Falls Man's Garage Sale App
- Wellington Heights Smoke Detector Giveaway
- Walker Circling Presidential Run
- Grads Lack Desired Skills
- UI Offers New Degree
- IA Man Goes to Gofundme to Follow Dream
- DOT Reviews Intersection
- Police Shooting Report Expected Soon
- Rubio Returning to Iowa
- Drake Gets Live Mascot
- Accused Teenage Murderer in Court
- Phone Outage Affecting 4 Counties
- Woman Denied $41M Jackpot Error
- Cancer Survivor Raising Awareness
- High School Stage Collapses
- Public Health Major
- "Raymond" Sitcom Actor Dead at 19
- Fighting Breast Cancer Before It Starts
- Special Gifts For Two Corridor Kids
- Fleck Sales Co. Buying Wolfe Beverage Co.
- Express Bus, Rideshare Plans Move Forward
- Black Students Rally at UI
- CBJ Report: April 23rd
- Interim UI President Approved
- Bird Flu Confirmed At Third Iowa Farm
- Emotional Recovery Following Stabbing
- Mental Health and Smart Phones
- What Makes Terrorists Tick?
- Gov. Asks Agencies to Monitor Bird Flu
- UPDATE: Woman Killed at Hy-Vee
Weekly Jobless Aid Ticks Up
Updated: Thursday, October 3 2013, 09:06 AM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose just 1,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 308,000, hovering near six-year lows. The tiny increase suggests companies are still cutting very few jobs.
The less volatile four-week average for applications fell to 305,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the lowest since May 2007, seven months before the recession began.
Weekly applications could increase next week because of the partial government shutdown. Defense contractors and other companies that do business with the government may temporarily lay off workers. Federal workers who are temporarily laid off may also file for benefits, though their numbers are reported separately and published a week later than the other applications.
Still, the broader trend has been encouraging. Applications, which are a proxy for layoffs, have fallen steadily in the past three months as many companies have stopped laying off workers. That suggests more employers are confident enough in the economy to maintain their existing staffs.
Steady declines in applications are typically followed by more hiring. But that hasn't happened. Instead, job gains have slowed in recent months.
Employers have added an average of just 155,000 jobs a month in the four months through August, according to government data. That's down from an average of 205,000 for the first four months of the year.
On Wednesday, payroll provider ADP said that businesses added just 166,000 jobs in September, evidence that hiring remains sluggish. The ADP figures usually diverge from the Labor Department's more comprehensive monthly employment report, which was scheduled to be released Friday. But the September employment report will now be delayed until the government shutdown ends.
The economy may not be growing quickly enough to encourage companies to ramp up hiring. Most analysts forecast that growth has slowed to an annual rate of 1.5 percent to 2 percent in the July-September quarter, down from a 2.5 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter.
Economists predict that growth is rebounding to an annual rate of 2.5 percent to 3 percent in the current October-December quarter. But those forecasts were made before this week's impasse that shuttered the government. The shutdown could shave about 0.15 percentage points from the fourth quarter figure for each week it lasts.
2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.