U.S.jobless claims down 37,000 last week

08:27, January 21, 2011      

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The number of U.S. people initially applying for unemployment aid fell by 37,000 last week, according to the weekly report released Thursday by the U.S. Labor Department.

The department said the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits was 404,000 in the week ending Jan. 15, dropping from the prior week's revised figure of 441,000.

The decline indicated an unexpected rise in applications a week earlier was due to seasonal factors. Jobless claims usually rise in early January after the holiday season.

The four-week moving average, which more closely reflects claims figures, decreased to 411,750 from the previous week's revised average of 415,750.

Economists say the number of jobless claims will have to fall to 375,000 or below to signal a sustained drop in unemployment.

The weekly jobless benefits application figures reflect the level of layoffs and indicate the real-time condition of the American job market.

Source: Xinhua
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