File: Flickr/Jenny Hwang file Unemployment claims in America dropped nearly 5 percent last month, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The drop came in the first three months of the year, which are usually the strongest months for the economy, according a BLS statement.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent from 9.1 percent in December, but the percentage of Americans who say they’re jobless remains high.
This time last year, the unemployment rate was 8.9 percent.
The report also showed that the number of jobless people who received unemployment benefits fell by more than a quarter.
The BLS found that there were 4.4 million Americans who reported receiving unemployment benefits in November, which is down from 5.3 million in October.
“While many Americans are hopeful for a recovery in the labor market, many still remain unemployed and remain exposed to an uncertain labor market,” said John Taylor, senior economist at IHS Global Insight.
“With a sluggish labor market and the continued weak dollar, consumers and businesses are taking more cautious steps in purchasing goods and services and will continue to be cautious about spending,” said Taylor.
“These risks, along with a slow economic recovery, are likely to be felt in the coming months as the economy continues to slow.”
The BPS report said that while the unemployment number fell from 8.1 million in December to 8,939,818 in November the percentage dropping was still above the historical average.
While the percentage dropped from 9 percent to 8 percent, it was still more than double the historical rate of decline of 5.7 percent, according the report.
The average unemployment rate since the start of the Great Recession was 9.8 percent.
But this rate has been climbing faster than the average of the past two years, according TOBIAS data.
“The rate is rising, but it’s still not at a level that’s sustainable for the long-term,” Taylor said.
The number of people out of work has been rising in recent years, but also the number who are looking for work has fallen.
“Over the past several months, the economy has slowed as the labor force participation rate (LFSR) has risen to 62.9 from 65.4,” Taylor added.
“In the third quarter, the number that said they’re looking for a job fell below 65.8 for the first time since the recession.
This suggests that the economy is showing signs of slowing down.”
The unemployment figures also show that the percentage rate of people who said they were underemployed, which means they’re not working full time but have a part-time job, is also declining.
In November, the LFSR was 56.5 percent, the lowest since the year 2000.
The U.S. unemployment rate is at its lowest point in almost a decade.