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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Number of new jobless claims dips slightly

The number of new jobless claims filed last week dropped slightly compared with the week before, while the number of continuing claims inched upward.

The government said moments ago that 439,000 new jobless claims were filed last week, a 6,000-person drop from the week before. Forecasters predicted that 443,000 new claims would be filed last week.

The number of continuing claims -- those on long-term unemployment -- rose slightly last week from 4.64 million to 4.66 million.

And the four-week moving average of new claims -- which smooths out volatility -- dropped 6,750 last week to 447,250.

This time last year, Americans were filing more than 600,000 new jobless claims each week, so today's number is an improvement on that. However, economists say that sustainable new job growth won't happen until the weekly jobless claims number gets into the low 400s.

Today's data come between Wednesday's ADP private-sector employment report and Friday's federal government report, which will reveal the March official U.S. unemployment rate.

Markets were surprised Wednesday when the ADP report showed that 23,000 jobs were shed in March; forecasters were expecting a gain of 40,000 jobs. Forecasters expect Friday's unemployment rate to hold steady at 9.7 percent. However, it's worth noting that the March unemployment rate will be slightly altered by U.S. Census currently underway. The Commerce Department is hiring more than 600,000 temporary workers to help with the census, and 100,000 of those were hired in March. Those jobs go away when the survey ends.

Follow me on Twitter at @theticker.

By Frank Ahrens  |  April 1, 2010; 8:44 AM ET
Categories:  Data , The Ticker , Unemployment  | Tags: jobless claims, unemployment  
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Comments

Obama's anti-business: everything he does
Negatively affects business!
Obama is anti-entrepreneural.
Obamacare alone will cost businesses more money.
Obamacare will force businesses to provide
health insurance for part time workers.
Many times these workers aren't even expecting health insurance, though.
OBAMA DOESN'T GET IT!

Posted by: ohioan | April 1, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

UPDATE 1-Unemployment to stay 'unacceptably high' - Geithner

WASHINGTON, April 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. unemployment rate, currently at 9.7 percent, will remain "unacceptably high" for some time to come, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Thursday.

"The unemployment rate is still terribly high and it's going to stay unacceptably high for a long period of time," Geithner said on NBC's "Today" Show.

***it's only going to get worse...2011....when the funds for all the bailouts....run out and the taxes kick in.

Posted by: analgesic33 | April 1, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Obama does get it!

If he didn't we would still be losing jobs in the 700,000 bracket....

AND AS MUCH AS I LOVE KEITH AND RACHAEL...BILL O'REILEY WAS RIGHT ABOUT THE COMMENT HE MADE ABOUT MSNBC...AND I CAN'T STAND THAT MAN...BUT HE WAS RIGHT

THAT STATION HAS TURNED INTO AN ATTACK STATION AND NO ONES LIKE LOOKING AT NEWS THAT ONLY EMPHASIS ON THE NEGATIVE

ALL DAY LONG THEY QUOTE POLLS NOW THEY DECIDED TO SEARCH A "MARIST POLL"....LIKE AMERICANS GIVE A DAMN!

THEY ARE ABOUT AS LOST AS LOST CAN GET...TIME TO REVAMP MSNBC DAYTIME NEWS...EVEN A FOUR YEAR OLD CAN TELL THEY ARE LOSING VIEWERS BY THE TRUCKLOAD

Posted by: dove369 | April 1, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"Ohioan's" view that Obama means trouble for business doesn't seem to have deterred investors from driving up the stock market steadily for the past year.

Oh, and at least half of severance pay to laid-off workers should consist of stock in the companies that lay them off. After all, that's what improves the bottom line when demand falls off. So workers taking a hit drives up the stock market.

Posted by: loyalsyst | April 1, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

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