U.S. Jobless Claims Fall Again
Friday, 22 August 2008

REUTERS, WASHINGTON - The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week for a second week in a row, the government said on Thursday, though they continued at levels that showed a weakening labor market.

The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits dipped by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 432,000 in the week ended August 16 after falling a revised 12,000 a week earlier.
 
That was well below the 443,000 claims that economists polled by Reuters had expected for the latest week.
 
But a four-week moving average of new jobless claims, regarded as a better gauge of underlying labor trends because it irons out week-to-week volatility, climbed to 445,750 last week from 438,500 in the August 9 week.
 
That was the highest level for the moving average since December 2001, not long after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks that sharply disrupted economic activity.

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