Jobless claims hit new low in U.S.

March 16th, 2016


It can often be difficult to gauge the current state of the American economy.


In this election season, political rhetoric from both sides would make one believe that the economy is in shambles and that unemployment is skyrocketing.


This political discourse can easily be observed in popular opinion through the lens of Google.


If one were to search “Why is the American economy…” three of the first autocomplete results are “so bad” “failing” and “slowing down.” Despite this pessimistic attitude, major indicators show that the American economy is at one of its strongest points in recent history, according to Business Insider.


A major factor to this overall conclusion is the serious decrease in jobless claims.


These claims are individuals filing for unemployment through the appropriate government channels.


For the last period, economists had estimated that new jobless claims would total 277,000, according to CBS News.


However, this was found to be an overestimate as real jobless claims totaled 259,000, 18,000 less than initially predicted, PBS News reported.


This marks a major milestone for the U.S. economy, as new jobless claims per month have now run under 300,000 for an entire year.


This is a sign of an accelerating labor market, moving towards full employment.


While the new jobless claims report indicated economic success, so did the continuing claims statistics, which decreased by 32,000 last month.  According to CBS News, total claims are now down to 2.225 million.


This decrease in jobless claims can largely be attributed to the 242,000 new jobs created by employers last month, largely in the retail, restaurant, and healthcare sectors.


Despite this increase in jobs and decrease in jobless claims, unemployment remained at a constant 4.9 percent.


This consistent rate can largely be attributed to the fact that as more jobs are created, more potential workers have chosen to enter the labor market in search of work.


Despite this high job creation, many of these new jobs are considered low paying.


According to PBS News, this led the wage rate to only increase by 2.2 percent last month.


While this increase is less than those in previous months, it is important to note that these figures are still far from those of a country in recession.


It is also necessary to understand that the U.S. economy reached this low in jobless claims, as well as these other positive indicators at a time when the global economy is faltering.


This economic unease is especially evident in China where for the first time in six years, the country has slowed military spending.


This is a serious indicator to the country’s economic health, according to Business Insider.


The continued growth of the U.S. economy in a time when its trade partners and neighbors are faltering may further illustrate a newfound strength and resilience in the U.S. economy.


Editor’s Note: Information from PBS News, Business Insider and CBS News was used in this report.