September 24, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits fell for the third straight week, evidence that layoffs are continuing to ease.
The Labor Department says initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped to a seasonally adjusted 530,000 from an upwardly revised 551,000 the previous week. Wall Street economists expected claims to rise by 5,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.
The four-week average, which smooths out fluctuations, dropped to 553,500. That's the lowest since late January, though still far above the 325,000 weekly claims typical in a healthy economy.
The number of people continuing to claim benefits for more than a week dropped 123,000 to a seasonally adjusted 6.14 million.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)