U.S. Jobless Claims Again Fall Below 400,000

By John S. McClenahen Although other economic statistics haven't been as encouraging, the latest data on claims for unemployment insurance offer a tantalizing bit of hope that the U.S. economy could be getting ready to generate a respectable number of jobs again. They also suggest that the U.S. economy is not about to contract again in a so-called double-dip recession. Initial claims for jobless insurance fell by 25,000 to 389,000 in the week ending Oct. 19, reports the U.S. Labor Department's Employment & Training Administration. The number is also 11,000 fewer than the 400,000 initial claims that Merrill Lynch & Co. economists figured would be filed last week. The four-week moving average for initial claims also fell, by 5,000 to 404,000. And the number of insured unemployed people decreased to 3.577 million during the week ending Oct. 12, a larger-than-expected decline of 115,000 from the prior week's total of 3.692 million.

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