AP

Fewer people seek US unemployment aid amid solid hiring

Sep 29, 2022, 5:38 AM | Updated: 8:00 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits dropped last week, a sign that few companies are cutting jobs despite high inflation and a weak economy.

Applications for unemployment benefits for the week ending Sept. 24 fell by 16,000 to 193,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That is the lowest level of unemployment claims since April. Last week’s number was revised down by 4,000 to 209,000.

Jobless aid applications generally reflect layoffs. The current figures are very low historically and suggest Americans are benefiting from an unusually high level of job security. A year ago this week, 376,000 people applied for benefits.

The economy shrank in the first half of the year, the government said in a separate report Thursday on gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy’s output.

Yet employers, who have struggled to rehire after laying off 22 million workers at the height of the pandemic, are still looking to fill millions of open jobs. There are currently roughly two open positions for every unemployed worker, near a record high.

With companies desperate for workers, they are much more likely to hold onto their current staff.

Employers are also offering higher pay and benefits to attract and keep employees. Those higher salaries are contributing to inflation pressures.

The Federal Reserve is aiming to bring down inflation by rapidly raising its key interest rate, which is currently in a range of 3% to 3.25%. A little more than six months ago, that rate was near zero. The sharp rate hikes have pushed up mortgage rates and other borrowing costs. The Fed hopes that higher interest rates will slow borrowing and spending and drive inflation down towards its 2% target.

Fed officials are increasingly warning that the unemployment rate will likely have to rise as part of their fight against rising prices. If the number of unemployment claims drops, as it did last week, it suggests the Fed may have to raise rates even higher than it plans to slow the economy.

___

This has been corrected to show that the level of unemployment benefits applications is the lowest since April, rather than May.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Former President Donald Trump sits in a courtroom next to his lawyer Todd Blanche before the start ...

Associated Press

Trump hush money trial enters new phase after defense rests without testimony from former president

Donald Trump's hush money trial is now closer to the moment when the jury will begin deciding the former president's fate.

1 day ago

UoA student convicted of first-degree murder after killing professor...

Associated Press

Former Arizona grad student convicted of first-degree murder in 2022 shooting of professor

A former University of Arizona grad student was convicted of first-degree murder after fatally shooting a professor on campus two years ago.

1 day ago

Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy filing defamation lawsuit...

Associated Press

Ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona’s Kelli Ward plead not guilty in fake elector case

Giuliani appeared remotely for the arraignment that was held in a Phoenix courtroom. His trial will take place in October.

1 day ago

President Joe Biden gestures after speaking to graduating students at the Morehouse College commenc...

Associated Press

Biden tells Morehouse graduates that scenes in Gaza from the Israel-Hamas war break his heart, too

Joe Biden on Sunday offered his most direct recognition of U.S. students' anguish over the Israel-Hamas war.

3 days ago

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant served indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

4 days ago

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Fewer people seek US unemployment aid amid solid hiring