Despite the current turmoil in global markets, the number of people seeking unemployment benefits in the United States fell last week to its lowest level since November. This seems to indicate that a slowing global economy has not caused U.S. businesses to cut jobs.
According to the Labor Department, weekly applications for jobless benefits fell 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 262,000. Meanwhile the four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped 8,000 to 273,250. The overall number of people receiving aid increased, to 2.26 million, from 2.25 million the previous week.
Employment growth has been robust in the USA despite the wild swings in the market with employers adding 151,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate in the United States, a bell weather for Canada’s economy, is now at an eight year low of 4.9 per cent. Increased hiring has also led to higher average hourly wages, which grew 2.5 per cent in January, compared to the previous year.
Other reports show that consumer spending and manufacturing grew in January 2016, further suggesting that the economy is still growing despite worries of recession on Wall Street in the face of a 9 per cent drop in the stock market last month.
Applications for jobless benefits are also an indication of future layoffs. The latest figures suggest that employers are showing confidence in future growth and intend to retain workforce at current levels for possible expansion.
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