Bleak prediction for U.S. employment

Posted May 8, 2016 by Tim Sandle
Employment levels in the U.S. are looking more precarious, according to a new report. The number of U.S. citizens filing for unemployment benefits increased dramatically according to government figures.
Jobs on offer at a local employment fair.
Jobs on offer at a local employment fair.
Malcolm Tredinnick
As Trump and Clinton prepare to battle for the future direction of both domestic and foreign policy for the U.S., the state of the economy at the present time seems less than rosy.
New U.S. government figures indicate that claims for unemployment benefits have increased significantly, with the number of people seeking unemployment checks rising by the highest level in over a year.
Data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that first time claims for unemployment benefits have grown by 17,000 to reach a figure of 274,000 people for the week ending April 30, 2016.
CNBC’s economists add that the four-week moving average of claims is considered to be a better measure of labor market trends, because this measure irons out week-to-week volatility. The moving average rose 2,000 to 258,000 last week, a further sign of a dip.
Moreover, a different set of figures indicates a 35 percent surge in planned layoffs by U.S. employers. The majority of these job losses, Compliance EX reports, relate to the energy sector. This area of the economy has been badly hit by low oil prices. The fall in prices has affected the rate of profit, and in order to protect shareholder interests, jobs have been cut.
In relation to this news, Global outplacement firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, is quoted as saying "U.S.-based companies announced 65,141 job cuts last month, up 35 percent from March." Here the energy sector has accounted for 19,759 job cuts during April 2016. This brings the total number of layoffs from this sector to 72,660.
Other major areas for job cuts include information technology, financial services, and the retail sector.
A more optimistic outlook has been provided by Gennadiy Goldberg, a U.S. strategist at TD Securities LLC in New York, who states: “The U.S. economy may not be growing at 3 percent, but we’re continuing to muddle along, and that’s still creating a demand for labor.”