US Applications For Unemployment Aid Drop Sharply
Thursday's report on unemployment applications will have no direct effect on Friday's report on hiring in April. The government calculates job creation by surveying companies during one week in the middle of each month.
Unemployment applications during April's survey week were higher than in March's survey week. That suggests hiring last month might have been weaker than in March.
But the connection between the applications figures and job gains isn't always direct. And the drop in unemployment applications last week suggests that any slowdown may be temporary
Many economists downplayed the weak hiring in March. They said a mild winter led employers to accelerate hiring in January and February. That made March's job figures weaker.ADP's report said companies added only 119,000 jobs last month. The ADP report has deviated sharply from the government's figures in the past and isn't always a reliable indicator. For example, the government's estimate of 120,000 jobs created in March was much lower than ADP's estimate of 201,000. Most economists said the ADP figures would not lead them to change their forecasts for job creation during April. The number of people receiving benefits also declined. In part, though, that's because some extended benefit programs are winding down. Nearly 6.6 million people received benefits during the week of April 14. That's down from about 6.7 million the previous week. The unemployment rate has fallen to 8.2 percent in March from 9.1 percent in August. Part of the reason was that some people gave up looking for work. People who are out of work but not looking for jobs aren't counted among the unemployed.
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