Labor Department Data Shows New Unemployment Filings Now at 275,000 Per Week
According to the latest Department of Labor data, for the week ending September 5 US claims for initial unemployment fell by 6,000 to 275,000. This marked the 27th week in a row that claims were under 300,000, a number Reuters said is typically considered the threshold for a strengthening labor force. The Labor Department data also noted that for the week ending August 29, several states showed larger increases in initial unemployment filings – New York, Ohio, Indiana, Oregon, and Illinois. New York State saw 4,642 new filings for that week. On the reverse, several states saw significant declines in new unemployment filings, including Pennsylvania, California, Michigan, and New Jersey. Pennsylvania saw a decline in filings of 1,549 for the week ending August 29. Reuters noted that over the past three months the market has added an average of 221,000 jobs per month, more than the number necessary to keep up with rising population, and a continued indication of a tightening labor market. Despite this, Reuters also noted that data on the four-week moving claims average, which evens out potential volatility in weekly data, rose by 500 to 275,750 for the week ending September 5.
What This Means For Small Businesses
The latest Department of Labor jobless claims data continues to show positive gains for the US job market, as the US is now enjoying more than six months of unemployment claims filings at or below 275,000 per week. Though data show that the labor market is tightening, a signal of a growing US economy, small businesses may see mixed results from the tightening labor pool – on the one hand, lower unemployment means consumers will have more spending money to use on local businesses. However, small business owners may face increasing difficulty finding qualified workers to fill jobs as the labor pool shrinks.
NFIB recently noted that despite improvements in the US unemployment rate, some states, like Oregon, continue to see unemployment above the national average.
Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.