US jobless claims falls to near 2010 low (AFP)

WASHINGTON (AFP) – New claims for US unemployment benefits fell last week to almost the lowest level of the year, official data showed Thursday, raising hopes for a recovery in the ailing jobs market.

The Labor Department said 420,000 initial jobless claims were filed in the week ending December 11, down 3,000 from the prior week’s revised reading of 423,000.

The decline confounded analysts’ forecasts of a rise to 425,000, from the initially estimated reading of 421,000 for the week ending December 4.

Last week’s new claims were the second-lowest of 2010 after a mid-November drop to 410,000.

The latest data confirmed a downward trend in new claims seen since this year’s peak in August above 500,000.

The four-week moving average, which helps smooth volatility, highlighted the emerging stabilization in a battered labor market where unemployment has clung near 10 percent amid a weak economic recovery from severe recession.

The average of new claims dropped by 5,250 to 422,750, the lowest level since August 2008, the month before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy sent global financial sectors into a tailspin and the US economy into the worst recession since the 1930s.

“Initial claims have been showing a better trend over the last two months, suggesting that the recovery is gaining some traction,” said Andrew Gledhill at Moody’s Analytics.

It, US jobless claims falls to near 2010 low
excerpt from US Economy

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