Applications for Unemployment Benefits Reach 15-Year Low

As the U.S. experienced a significant improvement in its labor situation in 2014, last week’s figures showed that fewer residents are claiming unemployment benefits

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the recent number of weekly unemployment applications fell to by 43,000 to 265,000. This is not only the biggest drop in the past two years, but it also represents the lowest number of applications the nation has seen since April 2000. The four-week average showed a decline of 8,250 to 298,500 applications. 

The Associated Press explained that while these impressive numbers may have been slightly amplified because of the recent federal holiday, which typically delays some files from being processed, they still indicate an increasingly positive workforce situation. Throughout 2014, the four-week average of applications fell by 11 percent, and the overall labor market reached its best rates since 1999. The AP noted that there have been fewer than 300,000 unemployment applications each week since September 2014, indicating that employers are holding on to seasonal staff and even expanding their workforces. 

Additionally, the source reported that this positive trend is likely to continue. Economists forecast an economic growth of over 3 percent for 2015. If this anticipated expansion occurs, it will be the largest growth in over 10 years.