The number of jobless claims
fell to a 15-month low according to the US Department of Labor
. For the week ending March 20, the number of new jobless claims was 442,000, which was 14,000 less than last week's revised figure of 456,000. The level for this week is the lowest since December of 2008 and offers hope that the economy may be stabilizing.
Weekly claims have dropped 2.9 percent since the end of 2009. The four week moving average
of claims, which may be a more accurate economic indicator, dropped from 464,750 to 453,750. This is the lowest level since September 2008. In addition, states reported 5,558,430 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation
) benefits for the week ending March 6, a decrease of 329,618 from the prior week.
All of these numbers indicate there is hope as employers slow the rate of layoffs Last week's $17.6 Billion Job Bill
may have played a signficant role in the drop in jobless claims.Many economists expect job creation will increase in the months ahead with the government hiring for the 2010 Census.
Look for Congress to keep passing legislation aimed at spurrring job growth. Many large private enterprises are in the process of hiring. For example, Caterpillar Inc
., the world’s largest maker of construction equipment, is going to bring aboard 500 workers starting this year to expand a plant in South Carolina. Also hiring is Siemens A.G.
More information available on the US Department of Labor report