Jobless claims in US at lowest level in nine months

CIOL Bureau
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WASHINGTON, USA: The number of people filing initial applications for unemployment benefits fell by 23,000 last week to 381,000, the US Labor Department said Thursday.


The rolling four-week average of new claims, viewed as a better gauge of underlying trends, declined by 3,000 to 393,250.

Last week's total of new applications was the smallest in nine months, while the four-week average is at its lowest point since April.

Economists regard a jobless claims figure of less than 400,000 as indicative of improvement.


The week ending Nov 26 also saw the number of people receiving state unemployment benefits decline by 174,000 to 3.58 million, the fewest since September 2008, according to the Labor Department report.

For the week that ended Nov 19, 3.31 million people were getting special federal jobless benefits, a decline of 211,600 from the previous week.

The Labor Department's November jobs report, released last Friday, showed the unemployment rate dropping from 9 per cent to 8.6 per cent as the economy added 120,000 net new jobs.

The jobless rate now stands at its lowest level in 2 1/2 years, dipping below 9 per cent for the first time since March.