Applications for US unemployment aid remain at 43-year low

FILE - In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016, file photo, a job applicant attends a job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. On Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, the Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits a week earlier. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits stayed at a 43-year low last week in the latest sign that layoffs are scarce.

The Labor Department says unemployment benefit applications were unchanged last week at a seasonally adjusted 246,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell 3,500 to 249,250.

Both figures were at their lowest levels since November 1973.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the figures indicate that companies are cutting few jobs. With the unemployment rate down to 5 percent from 10 percent in October 2009, some businesses say they are having trouble finding qualified workers. That suggests they are less likely to lay anyone off.

Hiring has been solid this year, though slower than in the two previous years.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s