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May 15 2015, 09.05am GMT


Dropping slightly in the first full week of May, the number of American people who applied for unemployment benefits remains close to a 15 year low.

This indicates that companies are not willing to let go of current workers despite the recent cool-off seen in the economy.

On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that the initial jobless claims during the period from the 3rd of May to the 9th of May dropped by 1,000 to 264,000. These numbers are adjusted seasonally.

Only happening for the 2nd time since 1975, for three weeks straight, new claims have registered lower than 270,000. Spring of 2000 was the last time that claims were this low, at the hindmost part of the internet boom.

The remarkably low layoff levels likely indicate that business leaders believe that the economy will pick up its pace after growth in the 1st quarter nearly halted.

If companies expect that the demand for their goods and services will increase, they are not likely to cut their workforce.

There are also constant complaints from companies around the difficulties of finding qualified workers for vacant positions. Seeing that good help is tough to find, companies will hold onto the majority of their current employees.

Given the slow economic growth in early 2015, its unclear if the pace of hiring will accelerate across the nation. In the first four months of the year, job creation slowed down to an average of 194,000 from a monthly average of 324,000 in 2014’s last quarter.

The Labor Department said that the new claims average over the last month dropped by 7,750 to 271,750; also indicating a 15-year low. The average over the four weeks smooth’s the fluctuation seen in the unstable weekly jobs report and is typically used as a more accurate prediction of trends in the labor market.

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