Jobless Claims Decreased Unexpectedly

July 2, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. unemployment
[uhn-em-PLOI-muh nt] (n.) – the condition of having no job
Example: Poor economy has resulted in the increase of the country's unemployment rate.

2. lay off [ley awf, of] (v.) –  to end an employment
Example: The company laid off all its employees after declaring bankruptcy.

3. gain [geyn] (v.) – to get or to earn, especially an increase in something
Example: The economy’s improvement is due to people gaining jobs.

4. keenly [keen-lee] (adv.) – with great interest
Example: Every detail in the company’s report must be keenly reviewed to avoid missing any information.

5. fiscal [FIS-kuh l] (adj.) – related to money, especially of the government or of a business
Example: The new fiscal policies aim to support the projects of the government.


Read the text below.
Recent reports say that the claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. decreased last May.

Under US policy, employees who were laid off may request temporary financial support from the government. The number of unemployment claims may be used to measure the national employment rate.

From April to May of this year, unemployment claims in the U.S. fell by 15,000. By the end of May, the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits had decreased by 23,000. As a result, the total cost for claims fell $112,000 to $2.91 million. In the last five years, this decrease marks the country’s first time to spend less than $3 million for unemployment claims.

According to economists, the country’s strong economy has lowered the rates of unemployment claims. The data also suggest that employers are not cutting the number of workers despite tighter fiscal policies. This decrease also implies that the more people are gaining employment even with the government’s recent budget cuts. In fact, reports say that 165,000 jobs were added to the employers’ payrolls in April.

The US Federal Reserve is keenly monitoring the status of employment in the country because employment rate affects the economic activity─the buying and selling of goods.

Recently, economic activity in the US has slowed down due to government budget cuts, but the slowing down of activity is expected to be only temporary as employment becomes steadier.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How do you think unemployment affects a country’s economy?
·         In your opinion, why do some countries have high unemployment rates?

Discussion B

·         How do you think a country can maintain a strong economy?
·         Do you think your country has a strong economy? Why do you think so?


July 2, 2013