Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Initial Jobless Claims Drop; Moving Average Increases

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Initial Jobless Claims Drop; Moving Average Increases

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits dropped by 2,000 last week to the lowest level in three weeks but remained in a range analysts say portrays a weak job market.

The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time applications for unemployment insurance totaled a seasonally adjusted 364,000, down from a revised 366,000 a week earlier. Claims during the previous week initially were estimated at 365,000.

Last week's total was the lowest since the week ended April 22, when they reached 351,000. The decline was the second straight after applications rose to 371,000, the highest level since last July.

But claims generally have been on an upward track in recent months, which analysts say is consistent with a softening economy and slower job growth.

Indeed, the department has reported that the jobless rate rose to 5.8 percent in April, from 5.5 percent in March. And, it said, payrolls shrank in April for the first time in two years. …

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