New jobless claims decline; employers may be hiring
Employers may be starting to hire again, as a drop in the jobless rate was observed in government publications. Drops in both short term and longer term unemployment were observed. It’s possible the unemployment rate could greatly improve this year.
Layoffs and unemployment claims drop in weekly surveys
The U.S. Department of Labor recently released some weekly data about the job market. Initial jobless claims, or new applications for unemployment benefits, declined in the week that ended on March 26, according to CNN, though the decline was only by 6,000. However, the four-week average of initial jobless claims, showed an increase of more than 3,000 initial unemployment claims. The number of new people claiming unemployment benefits was increasing for few weeks, but then turned right around and dropped. However, layoff announcements among private companies are steadily decreasing, according to USA Today.
Slow but steady winning the race
Short term unemployment claims aside, long term unemployment claims — the number of people continually filing for unemployment benefits — fell by 51,000 during the week that ended March 19. The four-week moving average decreased by more than 31,000, so fewer people are continually unemployed as of March. Private companies, mostly smaller businesses, are beginning to hire again. Payroll administration company Automatic Data Processing, Inc., observed more than 201,000 new jobs on payrolls in the private sector. Manufacturing jobs are also starting to increase, according to Reuters, as more factory jobs were observed to have been created in the Midwest. Even incredibly wealthy firms are starting to have a rosy outlook on hiring, as multiple news outlets reported that a survey of CEOs of large corporations revealed that more than 50 percent of the respondents were intending to hire people during the coming year.
American workers produce more for less
An upside to the unemployment of the last several years is that the productivity of American workers has risen, according to MSNBC. Output in the American economy has been increasing to pre-recession levels while employment has not. That means fewer people are doing the work, but the same amount is getting done. That also means they are being paid less for it. However, if the recent trends in employment data are signs of growth returning, that means some of the overworked and underpaid may become less overworked in coming months. They will likely stay underpaid, however.