New Jobless Claims Fall for Second Straight Week

New Jobless Claims Fall for Second Straight Week

New Jobless Claims Fall for Second Straight Week

New jobless claims were down for the second straight week, the Labor Department noted in their most recent report.  First time jobless claims fell by nearly 6,000 to 472,000 for the week that ended last Saturday.  While the news was a breath of fresh air, overall, the job market continues to be weak.

There were also signs in other reports released over the past week that the economy was still recovering, though it is doing so at a glacial pace.  Reports were released showing that the month of July saw an increase in the number contracts signed to purchase previously owned homes.  There was also a report indicating that orders at factory had gained some steam.

Economist said that while the drop in new unemployment claims was a good sign for the economy, the rate at which new claims were being filed over the previous four-week period remained roughly the same.  Over the course of the summer, employers have been hesitant to hire new workers, opting instead to find ways to get more work out of the workers they currently have.  However, it appears that strategy may be ending.  For the first time in five quarters, productivity did not increase.  The rate, which is a measure of output per hour, declined by 1.8%.  The deacline was attributed, at least in part, to output growth not being as high as it had been for much of the past year.

Economists say that the economy is continuing to improve, however a full return to stability is still some time off, especially if the housing market continues to plod along at its current rate of recovery.


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