Initial Jobless Claims Drop to 7-Year Low

Weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 24,000 to 297,000.

May 15, 2014 at 10:02AM

Initial jobless claims dropped 7.5% for the week ending May 10 to their lowest level in seven years, according to a Labor Department report released today. Weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 24,000 to 297,000.

After falling a revised 7% the previous week to 321,000 initial claims, this newest report came as a surprise to analysts, who had expected initial claims to clock in at 317,000. The latest report also shows that  fewer people are receiving benefits each week. The number of recipients fell to 2.67 million, the fewest since Dec. 1, 2007, when the recession began. 

News

Source: Author, data from Labor Department. 

From a more long-term perspective, a 0.6% dip in the four-week moving average to 323,250 initial claims came as a welcome respite after three previous reports of rising numbers. Both the latest week's claims and the four-week average fall significantly below 400,000, a cutoff point that economists consider a sign of an improving labor market.

On a state-by-state basis, seven states recorded a decrease of more than 1,000 initial claims for the week ending May 3 (most recent available data). New York recorded the biggest drop by far, citing fewer layoffs in transportation and warehousing, food services, and education as main reasons for its 20,640-claim decline. 

For the same period, only Pennsylvania and Texas registered increases of more than 1,000 initial claims. Construction layoffs contributed to Pennsylvania's 1,400-initial-claims increase, while Texas pointed to manufacturing as one of the industries behind its 1,150-initial-claim boost. 

The unemployment rate fell to 6.3% last month, from 6.7%. But the drop occurred because fewer people looked for work. The government doesn't count people as unemployed unless they are actively searching.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers