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Layoffs Are Rare, Jobless Claims Data Suggest

MarketWatch (05/28/15) Jeffry Bartash

Although more people applied for unemployment benefits in late May, most employees have job security. Employers are laying off the fewest number of employees since the government began keeping track several decades ago. Indeed, many employers say they cannot find a sufficient number of skilled job applicants and they are reluctant to lay off experienced personnel. Some are increasing salaries to attract skilled employees.

That said, the labor market hasn’t fully recovered from the recession. Approximately 17 million people who want full-time jobs can’t find one; 17 million is an unusually high number nearly seven years after a recession. Furthermore, the percentage of able-bodied people age 16 or older in the workforce is at the lowest level since the late 1970s.