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Jobless claims dip to 7-year low
WASHINGTON (4/11/14)--Claims for unemployment insurance fell 32,000 to 300,000 for the week ending April 5 according to Thursday's numbers from the Labor Department, perhaps pinning culpability for the recent sluggish job market squarely on the unusually harsh winter weather (Economy.com April 10).

The 300,000 jobless claims are the lowest amount in almost seven years.

"(The report) provides further support for the argument that the mid-winter slowdown was a byproduct of the unusually harsh weather that gripped much of the country," Jim Baird, chief investment officer of Plante Moran Financial Advisors, told MarketWatch in an article Thursday. "The return of warmer temperatures with the arrival of spring has brought with it better data."

The four-week moving average for jobless claims dropped to 316,500 from 321,000.
Continuing claims fell 62,000 to 2.776 million for the week ending March 29, and the insured unemployment rate fell to 2.1% from 2.2%, rounding out stronger job growth across the board.

But to really ignite the job market, analysts say, hiring levels must climb.

With corporate balance sheets positioned to sustain thicker payrolls this year, clearer direction in U.S. monetary policy, and a forecast of stronger final sales, those hiring waves could break soon, according to Moody's.


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