If the latest unemployment numbers are any indication, there may be good news on the job market front.
Last week the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell by 22,000 to an adjusted 344,000—evidence that the job market may be on the upswing.
In fact, applications for unemployment have been falling steadily over the past few weeks. The four-week average declined almost 11% since November; all while employers have added approximately 200,000 jobs per month from November through January of this year.
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And while the unemployment rate increased slightly in December (from 7.8% to 7.9%), economists believe that the rate will decline if hiring continues at last year’s monthly pace of 180,000.
Additional factors that show the economy may be on an upswing include the steadily rising prices of homes, and the fact that banks that more willing to lend money than they have been in previous months.
The declining unemployment numbers “suggest further healing in the labor markets,” Sal Guatiere, an economist at BMO Capital Markets told clients in a note.