U.S. Jobless Claims Plunge

By Agence France-Presse U.S. weekly unemployment claims plunged by 44,000 in the week ended Sept. 4, to 319,000, the Labor Department said Sept. 9. It was the biggest decline in initial claims since December 2001 and better than the figure of 345,000 expected on Wall Street. The drop was attributed in part to the impact of storms that have battered Florida in the past month and to problems adjusting for seasonal factors, a Labor Department spokesman said. The four-week average of initial claims, which smoothes out distortions caused by weather and holidays, fell by 3,750 to 339,250. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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