Bloomberg (08/29/13) Lorraine Woellert
In a positive sign for the U.S. economy, the number of people filing applications for unemployment benefits declined more than forecast last week. Unemployment claims in the week ended Aug. 24 declined 6,000 to 331,000 from a revised 337,000 the week before, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Economists polled by Bloomberg had forecasted a decline to 332,000. The less-volatile four-week moving average rose to 331,250 last week from 330,500 a week earlier.
Companies are maintaining their work forces in the face of increasing demand, but they still remain reluctant to create new jobs over concerns about a potential federal deficit showdown, the Affordable Care Act, and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s plan to scale back its monthly economic stimulus.