- Indpendent Film Festival Underway
- Comcast, TWC Merger in Trouble
- Gardening Season Has Arrived
- Hearing for CR Budget Petition
- IA Students Send Lawmakers a Message
- IA Man Threatens Woman with Knife
- 18 Bills Signed into Law
- Disaster Emergency Declared for Clinton Co.
- Hot Lotto Suspect Contests Extradition
- "King of Clubs" Killed in Iraq
- IA Farmers on Alert for Bird Flu
- Rayhons Trial: Roommate Testifies
- Train Hits Semi in Alburnett
- UPDATE: Stolen Van Recovered
- Distracted Driving Causes Crash
- A Final Salute for the "Urbana 5"
- I380 N Backed up at I80
- UPDATE: Two Hurt in Police Chase/Crash
- Elder Home Operators Convicted of Neglect
- Stories Etched on Hands
- Casino Fined For Admitting Gambler
- Top Kitchen Contaminators
- Police Arrest Woman Posing as Dentist
- POLL: Most Iowans Support Background Checks
- Kentucky Gay Marriage Ruling on Hold
- No Injuries in Heartland Co-op Fire
- Bush Calls on Sen. to Confirm Lynch
- Time Fitting the Crime
- CR Becoming Convention Hot Spot
- Created in the Corridor: TelePharm
- Newport Road Reading Approved
- JOCO Crisis Center Looking for Volunteers
- Des Moines Appeals Traffic Cam Order
- Two People Face Theft, Drug Charges
- ImOn Surveying IC Neighboorhoods
- CBJ Report: April 16th
- Police: Woman Charged with False Reporting
- IA Google Center Could Expand
- Video Shows Boys & Girls Clubs Theft
- Millers Find Freedom Fest Medallion
- NYC Mayor Speaks at Drake University
- High School E-Cig Use Rising
- IA Lawmaker Trial: DNA Found on Linens
- Man Accused of Stealing Police Bike
- 2 Your Finances
- The Wild Hogs Band
- Federal Raid Nabs Iowa Fugitives
- Gyrocopter Flew 'Under the Radar'
- Super PAC Formed for Scott Walker
- AAA Driving Habits Study
Weekly Jobless Aid Ticks Up
Updated: Thursday, October 3 2013, 09:06 AM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose just 1,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 308,000, hovering near six-year lows. The tiny increase suggests companies are still cutting very few jobs.
The less volatile four-week average for applications fell to 305,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the lowest since May 2007, seven months before the recession began.
Weekly applications could increase next week because of the partial government shutdown. Defense contractors and other companies that do business with the government may temporarily lay off workers. Federal workers who are temporarily laid off may also file for benefits, though their numbers are reported separately and published a week later than the other applications.
Still, the broader trend has been encouraging. Applications, which are a proxy for layoffs, have fallen steadily in the past three months as many companies have stopped laying off workers. That suggests more employers are confident enough in the economy to maintain their existing staffs.
Steady declines in applications are typically followed by more hiring. But that hasn't happened. Instead, job gains have slowed in recent months.
Employers have added an average of just 155,000 jobs a month in the four months through August, according to government data. That's down from an average of 205,000 for the first four months of the year.
On Wednesday, payroll provider ADP said that businesses added just 166,000 jobs in September, evidence that hiring remains sluggish. The ADP figures usually diverge from the Labor Department's more comprehensive monthly employment report, which was scheduled to be released Friday. But the September employment report will now be delayed until the government shutdown ends.
The economy may not be growing quickly enough to encourage companies to ramp up hiring. Most analysts forecast that growth has slowed to an annual rate of 1.5 percent to 2 percent in the July-September quarter, down from a 2.5 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter.
Economists predict that growth is rebounding to an annual rate of 2.5 percent to 3 percent in the current October-December quarter. But those forecasts were made before this week's impasse that shuttered the government. The shutdown could shave about 0.15 percentage points from the fourth quarter figure for each week it lasts.
2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.