New U.S. Jobless Claims Fall

May 6, 2010
Labor Department also reported a 3.6% increase in productivity

For the third straight week, new claims for unemployment benefits fell. Initial jobless claims fell by 7,000 in the week ending May 1, heading toward the lowest levels in a year.

The total number of Americans starting to claim benefits fell to 444,000, down from a revised figure of 451,000 from the week before.

The claims figures come ahead of May 7's all-important monthly jobs report, tracking employment for April.

Patrick O'Hare of said the figures could not necessarily predict the April numbers. "Still, two messages continue to resonate: (1) the trend in initial claims continues to improve and (2) it is still difficult to find full-time work," O'Hare said.

Also on May 6, the Labor Department reported that non-farm productivity rose by a higher-than-expected 3.6% in the first quarter of 2010. Higher productivity figures may contribute to flat job figures, allowing employers to expand their output without hiring new staff.

Observers had expected productivity to rise by 2.4%, but analysts at Natixis said the rise "was not surprising as economic activity improved."

"However, the second rise in a row in hours worked as well as in compensation per hour confirmed the improvement of the job market," they said.

The Labor Department said the rise in productivity outpaced gains in hourly wages, which rose by just 1.9% over the same period.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Discover How an Eye Tracking Study Improves Training Procedures

Oct. 29, 2023
Did you know that your training processes can be streamlined by visualizing and analyzing key skills within your employee base? Find out how we use eye tracking to capture advanced...

Modern Edge Computing Accelerates Smart Manufacturing Initiatives for Discrete Manufacturers

Oct. 22, 2023
Discover how Edge Computing platforms are a requisite for discrete manufacturers to solve production challenges, accelerate digitalization, and establish a reliable infrastructure...

Process Mining For Dummies

Nov. 19, 2023
Here it is. Everything you need to know about process mining in a single book, written in the easy-to-understand, hard-to-forget style that ‘For Dummies’ manages so effortlessly...

Why DataOps may be the key to unlocking the full potential of digital transformation

Nov. 3, 2023
Read the 2023 market survey conducted by IndustryWeek

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!