Job Cuts in 2014 Hit 17-Year Low
In the latest sign of a labor market rebound, Challenger, Gray & Christmas has reported that the number of job cuts by US companies fell 9.2% last month. For the year, there were 483,171 announced cuts, 5% less than in 2013 and the lowest total since 1997. In more good news, state unemployment benefit claims dropped by 4,000 last week to 294,000, Reuters reported.
And the four-week moving average of claims dipped by 250 to 290,500 last week, the 17th consecutive week that the number stayed below 300,000. All told, 2014 job gains are expected to be the strongest since 1999 and increase the odds that the Fed will imminently raise short-term interest rates that it has kept close to zero for just over six years.