U.S. weekly jobless claims unexpectedly fall

U.S. | 8/12/2009 | Reuters Editorial
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week and the number of Americans on jobless rolls declined to a near 44-1/2-year low, pointing to a rapidly tightening labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 218,000 for the week ended June 9, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims data for the prior week was unrevised.

Economists - Reuters - Claims - Week - Labor

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 224,000 in the latest week. The Labor Department said claims for Maine and Hawaii were estimated last week.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, viewed as a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 1,250 to 224,250 last week.

Labor - Market - Employment - Rate - Low

The labor market is considered to be close to or at full employment, with the jobless rate at an 18-year low of 3.8 percent. The unemployment rate has dropped by three-tenths of a percentage point this year. It is near the Federal Reserve’s forecast...
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