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US weekly jobless claims down 21,000 to 336,000

Thursday, January 3, 2008

WASHINGTON (Thomson Financial) - New claims for unemployment insurance fell more than expected from their 2007 high, while the number of individuals continuing to receive unemployment insurance increased to its highest level in more than two years, the Labor Department said today.

The number of first-time claims filed in the week ending December 29 decreased 21,000 to 336,000, below the 345,000 claims economists polled by Thomson's IFR Markets had expected.

Claims fell from a revised 357,000 the prior week, which was a high for 2007 and the highest level since October 2005.

The four-week moving average for initial claims decreased 750 from a two-year high point, to 343,750. Economists prefer the four-week moving average because it smoothes out fluctuations in the weekly data.

For the week ending December 22, the number of individuals continuing to receive unemployment insurance increased 46,000 to 2.761 mln, the highest level since October 2005. Economists were expecting 2.675 mln.

The four-week moving average for continuing claims increased 42,000 to 2.687 mln, the highest level since November 2005.

Posted by MOHAMED SAID at 6:23 AM  

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