Initial jobless claims fall to 420,000The labor market showed more progress in the latest initial jobless claims numbers, which fell again, by 3,000 to 420,000. The more-telling four-week moving average declined by another 5,250 to 422,750. That's its lowest level since August 2008.
Economists emphasize the more-telling four-week moving average because it smooths out one-time anomalies.

A Bloomberg survey had expected new claims to total 420,000. The previous week's total was revised 2,000 higher to 423,000. Continuing claims rose slightly, by 22,000 to 4.14 million.

Jobless claims need to drop below 400,000 during the next two quarters to give economists and investors confidence that commercial activity is increasing robustly enough that businesses are willing to start hiring again. Each 10,000 drop in initial claims translates to about 25,000 new jobs created per month.

A year ago, new claims totaled 490,000, the four-week moving average was 481,250 and continuing claims totaled 5.32 million.

More States Had Big Layoffs

Two setbacks in the latest report concerned emergency claims and a rise in states reporting large increases in layoffs. States reported 3.85 million people claiming Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits for the week ending Nov. 27, the latest week for which data are available, an increase of 142,931 from the prior week. A year ago, 4.22 million people claimed EUC benefits.

Also, the pattern of fewer states posting large increases in jobless claims took a breather in the latest report, jumping to five from two: New York, 16,863; North Carolina, 15,276; Pennsylvania, 15,174; Georgia, 15,019; and California, 13,585.

The highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending Nov. 27, the latest week for which data are available, were in Alaska, 6.9%; Oregon, 5.4%; Puerto Rico, 5.0%; Montana, 4.6%, and Wisconsin, 4.6%.

Overall, the latest report provides further evidence of a strengthening U.S. economic expansion. Typically, after a large decline in initial claims, such as last week's tumble, a slight rise occurs the next week. But this time, claims again declined, although modestly. That's more evidence that the period of major layoffs is subsiding.

Given the current pace, claims could drop below 400,000 in the next two months -- something the U.S. hasn't seen since the start of financial crisis in September 2008.

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Then there is the notorious birth/death ratio, the ratio of the birth of new businesses and the death of old businesses and their net effect on the hiring and firing of workers. These government statistics are completely bogus. By way of example, U6 is 17%, but if you withdraw the B/D ration unemployment is 22-3/8%.

December 30 2010 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

jobless claims dropped because a lot of unemployed people have had their benefits run out and therefore they are no longer on the record of unemployed people collecting benefits. if these people were also counted i bet you would be amazed at the high number.don't let the figures fool or mislead you.

December 17 2010 at 9:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Get rid of your foreign investments an create jobs in the USA or soon WWIII will be here

December 17 2010 at 6:31 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

The remaining workers will bust their hump or be replaced very easily while those who ran out of benefits disapear very convienently for the BLS

December 17 2010 at 6:22 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

FELL! 3,000....need 200,000 jobs each month to break even

December 17 2010 at 6:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Everyone keeps asking where are the jobs? Did they forget. The republicans sent them overseas. They are gone, zilch. All is falling into line with the republican plan.

December 17 2010 at 5:18 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Look at this "reporting": (1) Initial claims "fell" by 3,000 (utterly insignificant) to 420,000. This is meaningless. (2) "Continuing claims" rose "slightly", by 22,000 to 4.14 million. 22,000 doesn't look "slight" compared to 3,000. ... BUT this is all nonsense: it intentionally ignores the millions of unemployed who aren't counted as "unemployed" because they ran out of unemployment insurance. (They are no longer "continuing claims".) IS ANYONE BUYING THIS?

See full article from DailyFinance:

December 17 2010 at 2:45 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

More manipulated good news that doesn't stand in the face of reality. Claims are down, like they are always down in this Greatest Depression Ever, because people have given up. Obama has shown he is controlled by the same fascist billionaires as Bush. Time to take a stand against the handful of big financial interests that have brought our nation to ruin by controlling our government outright.

December 17 2010 at 12:16 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply


December 16 2010 at 11:44 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

who do you belive nobody

December 16 2010 at 11:28 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply