Fall in initial claims for jobless benefits | Shanghai Daily

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August 7, 2009

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Fall in initial claims for jobless benefits

THE number of newly laid off United States workers seeking unemployment insurance fell last week, the government said yesterday, fresh evidence that layoffs are easing.

The Labor Department said initial claims for jobless benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 550,000 for the week ended August 1, down from an upwardly revised figure of 588,000 in the previous week.

The four-week average of claims, which smooths out fluctuations, dropped to 555,250, its lowest level since late January.

The tally of people continuing to claim benefits rose, however, by 69,000 to 6.3 million, the department said, after dropping for three straight weeks. The continuing claims data lags initial claims by a week.

Many economists expect initial claims to continue to decline this year.

"Claims should fall over the next few months, as the economy appears more or less to have stabilized," Ian Shepherdson, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics, said in a note to clients before the department's report.

When emergency extensions of unemployment are included, the total rolls climbed to a record 9.35 million for the week ended July 18, which is the most recent data available.






 

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