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Jobless Claims Near Lowest Level Ever—Compared With Size of Workforce

MarketWatch (07/10/14) Jeffry Bartash

The number of unemployed individuals collecting jobless benefits on a weekly basis is nearing an all-time low when adjusted for the size of the U.S. working population. The U.S. Department of Labor’s June survey of households indicates that an average of 311,500 people filed new applications for benefits each week during the past month, amounting to 0.21% of the 146.2 million people working.

The percentage of new jobless claims compared with household employment was lower only in 2000 and 2006-07. The figures indicate that more people are securing employment and fewer people are being laid off, but experts note that until the pool of long-term unemployed decreases from its current level of 3.1 million, the low level of claims will continue to be misleading.