With the number of people seeking unemployment benefits sinking to a six-year low; layoffs being few and far between; small businesses expecting to hire at near pre-recession number; and service companies adding jobs at a six-month high, the job market appears to be indicating that it could be strengthening. These recently developments have lead some economists to predict a healthy job market in September than over the past few months. Some put added jobs at 220,000 in September, the highest in almost seven months.
For the week ending September 21, applications for unemployment benefits fell by 5,000 to 305,000, the fewest since September 2007 after revisions to distorted data received during the first half of September. Applications have dropped by 7 percent since July, which already measured at its lowest level since 2000. Additionally, service companies, which employ 90 percent of the U.S. workforce, have continued to step up hiring as manufacturers also add jobs.
Over the first six months of 2013, the economy grew at a sluggish 1.8 percent, and economist don’t foresee growth improving much during Q3, making it the third of the past four quarters falling below the 2 percent mark. For the week ending September 7, 3.9 million Americans received unemployment benefits, up about 23,000 over the prior week but down 32 percent over the past year. This drop is largely due to previous recipients finding jobs, but many others just used up their available unemployment benefits.