New Jobless Claims Signal Slowing Pace of Layoffs

A rolling four-week average of claims also dropped


jobless unemployment 630First-time unemployment claims fell sharply last week, according to data released by the government.

On Thursday, the Labor Department announced that initial jobless benefit claims declined to 334,000 last week, down 24,000 from the previous week. The news surprised economists who had forecast jobless claims of 345,000. It marked the lowest weekly claims numbers since March, Reuters noted.

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A rolling four-week average of new jobless claims slid 5,250 from the prior week, suggesting that the economy is producing moderate job growth and that fewer companies are laying off workers.

The government also revised downward the number of jobless claims for the prior week by 2,000.

Last month, the Labor Department said that the U.S. economy added 195,000 new jobs, easily beating economists’ expectations.

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