Last week, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell. This is another sign of a steady decline and, arguably, a stronger job market. These applications are a good way to measure layoffs, and by extension, a good reading of economic growth. When more employees are being kept on board, those same business are more likely to hire new people.
The Labor Department said applications fell by 3,000 to 302,000. The four week average shows a drop of 3,000 as well, to 309,000 overall. This is the lowest level it has been at since June 2007.
Right now, the unemployment rate is at a five-and-a-half year low, sitting at 6.1 percent. Employers added 288,000 jobs in June, which makes it the fifth month in a row of job additions above 200,000.
While more jobs are being added, wages are not increasing substantially. Right now, wage growth is just barely matching inflation since the recession.