Make us your home page
Instagram

Fewer auto closings reduce U.S. unemployment claims

WASHINGTON — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits plunged last week. But a big reason was that some automakers skipped their traditional summer shutdowns to keep up with demand, leading to fewer temporary layoffs of autoworkers.

Sales of new cars and trucks surged in June, extending the auto industry's rebound. Automakers also began their Independence Day promotions early, lifting sales at the end of the month.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 350,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the lowest level since March 2008. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 376,500.

Economists expect most of the decline to be reversed in the coming weeks.

"Take July with a grain of salt," said Jill Brown, an economist at Credit Suisse, in a note to clients. The auto shutdowns "often cause extreme volatility."

Automakers traditionally close their plants for the first two weeks in July to prepare them to build new models and their employees file for unemployment benefits. But Ford Motor Co. said in May that it would reduce its usual two-week closing to only one week. And Chrysler said May 3 that it would skip the shutdown entirely.

Fewer auto closings reduce U.S. unemployment claims 07/12/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 12, 2012 9:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]

  2. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park

    Business

    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  3. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers

    Business

    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  4. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Banking

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]
  5. Cooking passion spurs owner to pull open AJ's Kitchen Drawer

    Business

    TAMPA — After graduating from the University of Tampa in May 2016, AJ Albrecht spent four months traveling around Southeast Asia and Australia.

    AJs Kitchen Drawer offers a wide variety of unique kitchenware items, such as handcrafted knives and wooden items, as well as local gourmet products. Photo by Danielle Hauser