Fewer people applied for weekly unemployment benefits last week, demonstrating that companies are still hiring staff despite signs of slower economic growth in early 2015.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that the submission of applications fell by 9,000 to settle at 282,000, and applied the seasonal adjustment. The decline suggests a slowdown in manufacturing, home construction and retail sales have not affected the labor market, a possible indication that economic growth will resume after a harsh winter.
The four-week average, a less volatile indicator, fell 7,750 to settle at 297,000 applications. During the past 12 months the average has fallen about 7%.
Applications of unemployment benefits are a projection of layoffs. The relatively low average shows that employers keep their workers and could increase recruitment. When less than 300,000 requests per month usually an important job creation is recorded.
The unemployment rate fell two tenths in February and stood at 5.5%, its lowest level since 2008.
In addition, between November and January were created over a million jobs, which marked the best quarterly pace since 1997 in the country.
Over a year, claims for unemployment marked a sharp decrease (-10%), according to official data.