Unemployment, Labor Numbers Improve

Even though unemployment is still hovering around 10%, a few reports appear to show some signs of life on the job front.

Reuters reports that the the four-week average for new unemployment claims fell to a two-year low, although last week’s claims did rise by 2000. The news agency also reported that “manufacturing activity in the country’s Mid-Atlantic region touched a near one-year high in November.”

In addition, the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics announced that the average weekly hours for workers in the private sector rose from 33.7 hours last October to 34.3 hours this October. Overtime also rose from 3.2 hours to 3.9 hours for manufacturing workers.

John Canally, economist at LPL Financial, told CNBC that those labor numbers are good news for job seekers.

“That’s a sign there’s more demand for product out there and companies are able to meet it with making people work a little longer,” he said. “At some point, you exhaust the work force and you have to go out and hire new workers.”

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