New jobless claims drop by 11,000
Unemployed Americans filed 448,000 new jobless claims last week, a figure that was down 11,000 from the previous week and that was in line with expectations.
Continuing unemployment claims last week rose slightly to 4.66 million, up from 4.64 million the previous week.
The four-week moving average on new jobless claims, which smooths out volatility in the data, rose 1,500 to 462,500. This bump up is so small as to be nearly statistically insignificant. If the four-week moving average begins to flatten and then eventually turn downward, the economy will get closer to creating new jobs.
Forecasters expected last week's number to come in at 448,000.
The official U.S. unemployment rate is 9.7 percent. The April number will be released next Friday and forecasters expect the number to remain unchanged. Economists say that the unemployment rate will stay near 10 percent through the end of the year.
Generally, economists say that new job growth can't begin until the new jobless claims number gets down into the low 400,000s or upper 300,000s and stays there. This time last week, the economy was shedding 700,000 new jobs per week. And though the number is much better this year, the weekly jobless claims number remains stubbornly stuck in the mid-400,000s.
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April 29, 2010; 8:40 AM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: Unemployment, United States, Work, new jobless claims
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