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Sharp drop in new claims for unemployment: Dropped 29,000 last week …


Stock edge higher after unemployment claims fall
May 19, 2011, 10:25 a.m. EDT
Associated Press

Journal By Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,

Owner and Founder of: http://www.LedSomeBioMetrics.com

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks opened slightly higher Thursday, extending Wednesday’s gains, after a government report showed a sharp drop in new claims for unemployment benefits. Weaker reports on home sales and economic expectations kept the gains in check.

Shares of social-networking company LinkedIn Corp. jumped 81 percent to $81.76 on their first day of trading. It is the largest U.S. Internet IPO since Google Inc.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 26 points, or 0.2 percent, at 12,586 in early trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 2, or 0.2 percent, to 1,343. The Nasdaq composite index added 4, or 0.1 percent, to 2,819.

The Department of Labor reported that applications for unemployment dropped 29,000 last week, more than expected, to 409,000.

Two other reports raised doubts about the strength of the housing recovery and the overall direction of U.S. growth.

The National Association of Realtors said fewer people purchased previously occupied homes in April. The number of homes sold in foreclosure also declined.

The Conference Board reported that expectations for future economic activity decreased, based on its index of leading indicators. The private research group said the index fell 0.3 percent in April, the first decline since June 2010.

In a sign that the U.S. consumer recovery remains uneven, Big Lots Inc. fell 9 percent to $34.31 after news reports that it decided not to sell itself. The Wall Street Journal said late Wednesday that the company received bids from two private-equity groups that were lower than it had hoped.

Sears Holding Corp. reported softer sales at its Kmart and Sears stores, causing a first-quarter loss of $1.58 per share, worse than analysts expected. The stock fell 3.2 percent to $73.31.

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Jobs in April, the biggest hiring spree in five years …


Economy adds 244k  jobs, rate ticks up to 9 pct.
May 6, 2011, 8:33 a.m. EDT

Journal By Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,

Owner and Founder of: http://www.LedSomeBioMetrics.com

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WASHINGTON (AP)Employers added more than 200,000 jobs in April for the third straight month, the biggest hiring spree in five years. But the unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in part because some people resumed looking for work.

The Labor Department says the economy added 244,000 jobs last month. Private employers shrugged off high gas prices and created 268,000 jobs — the most since February 2006.

The gains were widespread. Retailers, factories, financial companies, education and health care and even construction companies all added jobs. Federal, state and local governments cut jobs.

The data suggests businesses are confidence in the economy despite weak growth earlier this year.

Still, unemployment increased slightly from the 8.8 percent in March. It was the first increase since November.

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Fewer people sought unemployment aid last week


Fewer people sought unemployment aid last week

Posted by Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,
Owner and Founder of: https://economicnewsblog.wordpress.com and http://LedSomeBioMetrics.com

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that layoffs are dropping and employers may be hiring more workers.

The Labor Department said Thursday the number of people seeking benefits dropped 10,000 to 382,000 in the week ending April 2. That’s the third drop in four weeks.

The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, declined to 389,500. The average is just 1,000 above a two-year low that was reached three weeks ago.

Applications near 375,000 are consistent with a sustained increase in hiring. Applications, which reflect the pace of layoffs, peaked during the recession at 659,000.

The number of people seeking benefits has fallen for several months. The four-week average has dropped by 28,750, or nearly 7 percent, in the past eight weeks. At the same time, companies are adding more employees.

Employers added a net total of 216,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said last week, and the unemployment rate fell from 8.9 percent to 8.8 percent. Private employers added more than 200,000 jobs in both February and March, the biggest two-month gain since 2006.

“Businesses are hiring, perhaps not at lightning speed, but they are hiring,” Jennifer Lee, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, said. “And the jobless rate is inching lower. We’re nowhere near ‘normal’ but we’re taking steps in the right direction.”

Still, the number of applications could move higher in the coming weeks. Toyota Motor Corp. has said that it may temporarily shut down its North American plants later this month. That’s because of a shortage of parts from Japan, where the earthquake and tsunami have disrupted production. Other auto companies may also suspend production, which could cause temporary layoffs and a spike in applications for unemployment benefits.

Unemployed will continue to be paid in the event of a federal government shutdown, a Labor Department spokesman said. The benefit programs are administered by the states. If federal employees are temporarily laid off, they will apply for benefits from a separate program, the spokesman said.

The number of people collecting benefits also dropped. The total dipped slightly to 3.7 million during the week ending March 19, one week behind the applications data. That’s the lowest total since October 2008. But that doesn’t include millions of people receiving aid under the emergency unemployment benefit programs put in place during the recession.

Overall, 8.5 million people received unemployment benefits in the week ending March 19, the latest data available. That’s down sharply from the previous week, when nearly 8.8 million people collected benefits.

More hiring is needed to bring down the unemployment rate at a faster pace. The economy still has about 7.2 million fewer jobs than it did when the recession began in December 2007.

Many companies are stepping up hiring this year. McDonald’s Corp. said earlier this week that it will hold its first national hiring day April 19 as part of its efforts to fill 50,000 job openings.

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Dollar surges after strong US jobs report


Dollar surges after strong US jobs report
Associated Press
Posted by Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.
Owner and Founder of: https://economicnewsblog.wordpress.com and http://LedSomeBioMetrics.com

NEW YORK (AP) — The dollar is surging in New York after a closely followed report on U.S. jobs suggested the troubled labor market is recovering.

The Labor Department says the U.S. unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March and 216,000 new jobs were added, more than economists had expected. Private companies created most new jobs.

“The labor market is now generating sustained, moderate increases in new private-sector jobs and appears to be slowly accelerating,” writes Steven Wood of Insight Economics. Still, he warns that it will be a long time before all the jobs lost during the recession come back.

In morning trading Friday, the euro is sliding to $1.4092 from $1.4201 late Thursday; the dollar gaining to 84.27 Japanese yen from 83.07 yen; and the British pound dropping to $1.5994 from $1.6065.

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Calvin Ledsome Sr.,
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Warmest regards

Fewer people sought unemployment aid last week


Fewer people sought unemployment aid last week

Associated Press
Posted by Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,
Owner and Founder of: https://economicnewsblog.wordpress.com and http://LedSomeBioMetrics.com


WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that layoffs are dropping and companies may be stepping up hiring.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people seeking benefits dipped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000 for the week that ended March 26. That’s the second decline in three weeks.

Applications near 375,000 or below are consistent with a sustained increase in hiring. Applications peaked during the recession at 659,000.

The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, rose to 394,250. Still, that figure has dropped by 35,500, or 8 percent, in the past eight weeks.

“The downtrend … is undeniable,” Joshua Shapiro, chief economist at MFR Financial Inc., said. “We believe that this improvement will continue in the weeks and months ahead.”

The department also revised the previous five years of data. The changes showed that applications in recent weeks were moderately higher than previously reported.

As applications have fallen, hiring has started to pick up. Economists forecast that employers added a net total of 185,000 jobs in March. That would be just below February’s gain of 192,000 — the most jobs added in nearly a year. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 8.9 percent.

The March data will be released Friday.

Still, hiring must rise by about 300,000 per month to rapidly bring down the unemployment rate, economists say. The economy has gained more than a million jobs in the past year but still has 7.5 million fewer jobs than before the recession.

The number of people collecting benefits also dropped. It fell by 51,000 to 3.7 million in the week ending March 19, the latest data available. That’s the lowest figure since October 2008. But that doesn’t include millions of people receiving aid under the emergency unemployment benefit programs put in place during the recession.

All told, 8.8 million people received unemployment benefits in the week ending March 12, the latest data available. That’s slightly higher than the previous week.

There have been other positive reports about jobs and hiring this week.

More than half of the largest U.S. companies plan to step up hiring in the next six months, according to a survey by the Business Roundtable, released Wednesday. That’s the highest proportion of the group’s members that plan to add workers since the quarterly survey began in 2002. The Roundtable represents the CEOs of roughly 200 of the largest U.S. companies.

And the Conference Board said more job openings were posted online in March. The number of postings rose by 208,800, or nearly 5 percent, to 4.45 million. Job openings have increased by 600,000 in the first three months of this year. The Conference Board is a nonprofit business research group.

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Calvin Ledsome Sr.,

Owner and Founder of:

Thank you for visiting, do come back for more news…
Warmest regards,