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May 29 2015, 07.25am GMT


A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday show a hike in the number of initial jobless claims for the week ending 23 May, marking the highest rise in five weeks.

Also, according to the report, fewer employees have been laid off as the U.S. heads into its 7th year of recovery after the recession that nearly crippled Wall Street.

On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that for the week ending on the 25th of May, jobless claims hiked by 7,000 to hit the 282,000 mark. Although this increase marked the highest number seen over the last 5 weeks, new initial jobless claims are still hovering near a 15-year low.

Averagely, new jobless claims rose by 5,000 over the past month to reach 271,500 which saw the claims bounce off a 15-year low. This 4-week average is a better indicator of jobless claims since it reduces sharp fluctuations in the more volatile weekly report. It is considered to be a more accurate predictor of labor-market trends.

From the data released, it is evident that companies have drastically reduced employee layoffs. Instead, many companies have been complaining about the lack of skilled workers in the market while others have even gone the extra mile to offer a financial incentive to find skilled staff. Most companies are also working hard to ensure that they maintain their skilled workers and so a low number of layoffs have been evident.

Added to this, although the jobless claims are low, hiring seems to have hit rock bottom since the end of last year. However, despite this, many companies continue to advertise job vacancies and they are looking forward to adding staff.

The reality is that the U.S. labor market has not fully recovered from the recession. Currently, about 17 million Americans don’t have a full time job. The figure is quite high considering the country is heading into its seventh recovery year.

For the week ending on the 16th of May, continuing jobless claims hiked by 11,000 to reach 2.2 million. These claims reflect people already receiving benefits and the numbers have dropped to a 15-year low in May. These claims have also steadily fallen from 6.6 million posted at the end of the recession.

In a report next week, the government is expected to report that 200,000 jobs were added by the economy in May.


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