U.S. Jobless Claims Fall Again

Although the U.S. economy is not creating as many jobs as economists expected it would be at this stage of recovery from recession, initial claims for unemployment insurance are running more than 110,000 below the 414,000 of two years ago.

Initial claims fell to 302,000 for the week ending Feb. 12, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 304,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Feb. 17. It was the lowest number of initial claims since Oct. 28, 2000, notes Merrill Lynch & Co., New York.

The department's four-week moving average of initial claims, which smooths out week-to-shifts, declined to 311,750 last week, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised average of 315,750.

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