New claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell 8.4% last week to a six-month low, official data showed on July 9, suggesting some improvement in the troubled job market.
The Labor Department said that initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 565,000 in the week ended July 4. It was the lowest number of new claims since the week ended January 10.
The four-week moving average, considered a more representative indicator of unemployment trends, declined 1.6% to 606,000 claims.
In the week ended June 27, the insured unemployment rate was 5.1%, up one-tenth point from the preceding week.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009