Jobs Reports Seen As "Political Football" | Main | Duelfer's Report
October 07, 2004

Jobless Claims Plunge

Booyah:

WASHINGTON - The number of new applications filed last week for unemployment benefits fell sharply, offering a hopeful sign that the recovery in the job market may be gaining some steam.

The Labor Department (news - web sites) reported Thursday that the number of new people signing up for unemployment insurance benefits dropped by a seasonally adjusted 37,000 to 335,000, the lowest level since the beginning of September. In the prior three weeks, claims had gone up.

The latest snapshot of the layoffs climate was better than economists were expecting. They were expecting claims to decline to around 355,000.

Claims had risen recently in part because of the impact of hurricanes that pummeled Florida and elsewhere, wreaking damage and disrupting commerce.

The more stable, four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out week-to-week fluctuations, rose by 4,250 last week to 348,500. That compares with 394,250 a year ago — showing improvement has been seen over the past year.

The number of people continuing to draw unemployment benefits declined by 1,000 to 2.86 million for the week ending Sept. 25, the most recent period for which that information is available. A year ago, the number stood at 3.57 million.

Small cowbell for reduced jobless claims:



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posted by Ace at 08:52 AM

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