New Claims for Unemployment Insurance Drop to 14-Year Low
The unemployment picture in the United States continues to get rosier despite some historical lows in key employment indicators.
The “4-week moving average was 279,000 [claims],” the Labor Department announced. “This is the lowest level for this average since April 29, 2000 when it was 273,000.”
Overall, the nation’s jobless rate remained at 5.8%, which is the lowest it’s been since July 2008, when the Great Recession was just beginning to swallow the economy.
Although the unemployment rate has gone down considerably from a high point of nearly 10%, many, many Americans are still sitting at home waiting for job opportunities, Gene Epstein wrote at Barron’s.
“The overall labor force participation rate ran 62.8% in October, barely higher than its 36-year low of 62.7% in September,” Epstein said. “More significantly, the participation rate of prime-age men 25 to 54 remained at its 66-year low of 87.9% in October, down from 90.4% as recently as October 2008.” There are also still many people who are working part-time, but would like to work full-time. Epstein attributed some of this to the Affordable Care Act, writing that because the ACA requires full-timers to get insurance, employers of part-time workers might not be transitioning them to full-time employment at the usual pace.
To Learn More:
Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims (Department of Labor) (pdf)
The Jobs Machine Chugs On (by Gene Epstein, Barron’s)
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