According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of people who are requesting
unemployment benefits remained stuck near a three-month high in April. This is a sign that job
gains will most likely remain moderate. The report came as a disappointment to economists who
had predicted a decrease in applications.
Analysts predict companies will add about 175,000 jobs this month. If that’s the case, it would mean
more than in March, but less than the strong job growth that was seen during this past winter.
The previous week, unemployment applications decreased to a seasonally adjusted 388,000. That
represented little change from previous week’s figures—and was the highest since January.
In addition, the month-long average also increased to the highest in three months—at 381,750.
History shows that when applications come in below 375,000—that is a strong indication that
hiring will be robust enough to actually decrease the unemployment rate.
Economists say the numbers are not bad, they are just not as good as they have been previously.
Three weeks prior, the number of applications increased tremendously. Experts believe that might
have been inflated due to temporary layoffs during holidays in the spring when many school
workers are laid off.
However, since then, applications have not dropped back. Also, the prediction that 175,000 jobs will
have been added to the economy in April is still well under the average of 250,000 positions that
were added every month from December through February.
Economists note the job market still appears to be stronger than it was last year. In addition, the
unemployment rate has dropped to 8.2 percent from 9.1 percent in August.
Modern Business Associates is an HR company that focuses on payroll and HR outsourcing. We
routinely work with clients on unemployment trends. As a Professional Payroll and HR outsource
organization, our clients rely on us to help them effectively deal with these kinds of topics.
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