WASHINGTON – Americans sought unemployment aid last week, but the number of applications remains at a low level that indicates companies are still hiring.
The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid rose 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 275,000. That is the most since June. Still, a figure below 300,000 points to a healthy labour market.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs, and have been below 300,000 for 94 consecutive weeks. That is the longest streak since 1970. And last month unemployment fell to a nine-year low of 4.6 percent.
Layoffs typically rise in the winter, when the construction sites close and hotels and restaurants in all the tourist places cut back on their staff. The government season for this development, but it is not always so perfect.