September 29th, 2011
08:37 AM ET

First-time unemployment tumbles to lowest level since April

The number of Americans filing for their first week of unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in nearly six months, possibly signaling slight improvement in the job market.

There were 391,000 initial unemployment claims filed in the week ended Sept. 24, the Labor Department said Thursday, down 37,000 from the prior week's revised 428,000.

The drop was much better than expected, as economists forecast initial claims to fall to 419,000, according to

New claims for unemployment benefits have stuck around or above 400,000 since early April, a level economists often say is too high to signal the unemployment rate will come down anytime soon.

The recent drop to 391,000 maked the lowest level since the week of April 2, when 385,000 new claims came in.

For the country overall, the unemployment rate is still at 9.1%

September 2nd, 2011
08:52 AM ET

No jobs added in August

Hiring slammed to a complete halt in August as several fresh challenges put the American economy in turmoil.

Employers added no jobs during the month and the unemployment rate remained at 9.1%, the Labor Department said Friday.

The report was partially distorted by 22,000 state workers in Minnesota returning to work after a temporary government shutdown in July, as well as 45,000 Verizon workers on strike in August.

Those effects made it hard to compare the August jobs number to the 85,000 jobs gained in July.

Still though, the overall figure is considered weak in comparison to job gains of about 200,000-a-month, earlier this year.

Economists typically estimate the nation needs to add about 150,000 jobs each month to keep up with population growth alone. It needs even stronger growth to recover the millions of jobs lost during the financial crisis.

August 16th, 2011
09:41 AM ET

New home construction slumps in July

New home construction slumped in July, according to two key measures released by the government Tuesday.

Permits to build new homes fell 3.2% during the month to an annual rate of 597,000 units. The number of new homes being built fell 1.5% to an annual rate of 604,000 units, the Commerce Department said.

August 11th, 2011
08:59 AM ET

Unemployment claims fall to 4-month low

The number of first-time filers for unemployment benefits fell last week, dipping below 400,000 for the first time in four months.

There were 395,000 initial unemployment claims filed in the week ended Aug. 6, the Labor Department said Thursday, down 7,000 from an upwardly revised 402,000 the prior week.

Economists surveyed by were expecting jobless claims to rise to 409,000.

The figure had stayed above 400,000 since early April.

July 28th, 2011
08:35 AM ET

Unemployment claims fall bellow 400,000 for first time in 3 months

Finally, some better news about the job market: the number of first-time filers for unemployment benefits fell below 400,000 for the first time since early April.

There were 398,000 initial unemployment claims filed in the week ended July 23, the Labor Department said Thursday. That marks the first time since April 2, that the weekly initial claims number has fallen below 400,000, a level typically associated with payroll growth and a lower unemployment rate.

It also beats the 415,000 claims economists surveyed by had expected, and was 24,000 lower than the previous week.


Jobless claims rise above 400,000 again
Job seekers stand in line at a career fair in December 2010.
January 6th, 2011
08:56 AM ET

Jobless claims rise above 400,000 again

The number of Americans filing for their first week of unemployment benefits rose 18,000 to 409,000 last week.

While the latest data puts a damper on the prior week's eyebrow-raising headlines - when the figure had fallen below 400,000 for the first time in two years - the slight increase does not come as a complete surprise either.

Economists surveyed by had expected initial claims to rise to 405,000 in the latest report.

Figures for the week ended Dec. 25 included a federal holiday, and while economists try to adjust accordingly, the seasonal adjustment could have distorted the figure slightly, they say. Not only that, but the most recent data also includes the New Year holiday.

October 8th, 2010
09:28 AM ET

Breaking down the jobs report

The struggling job market  hasn't gotten any better.

A total of 95,000 jobs were lost in September, according to a Labor Department report. The numbers were far worse than expected as companies didn't hire as many workers and government agencies continued to cut them.

Overall, the economy lost a total of 95,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department reported Friday, far worse than expected and down from the previous month, when employers shed 57,000 jobs. But while government cuts, especially related to the end of the 2010 census, have dragged down the overall number for several months, businesses have added jobs for nine months in a row.

Here's a look at how the numbers break down by demographics:

Adult Men: 9.8 percent, unchanged from previous month

Adult Women: 8 percent, unchanged from previous month

Teenagers: 26 percent, down from 26.3 percent

Whites: 8.7%, unchanged from previous month

African Americans: 16.1 percent, down from 16.3 percent

Hispanics: 12.4 percent, up from 12 percent

Asians: 6.4 percent, down from 7.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted)

For more on the jobs report see the full story

April 14th, 2010
06:24 PM ET

White House: Stimulus tied to 2.2 million jobs

The government's Recovery Act is responsible for between 2.2 million and 2.8 million jobs through the first quarter of 2010, according to the latest stimulus report from President Obama's chief economic adviser.

The report, from the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, says the $787 billion economic stimulus is on track to create or save 3.5 million jobs by the end of the year.

Read the full story