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Jobless claims drop 18,000, a record amount

December 6, 2001
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In a further sign that the U.S. recession may be bottoming out, the federal Department of Labor reported that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment checks dropped.

WASHINGTON -- In a further sign that the U.S. economy's recession, which began in March, may be bottoming out, the federal Department of Labor on Dec. 6 reported that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment checks dropped slightly last week while the total number getting benefits took the biggest plunge in 18 years.

The Labor Department said that new claims for jobless benefits fell by 18,000 the previous week, the fifth weekly decline in the past six weeks. The total number of laid-off workers getting unemployment benefits plunged by 349,000, the biggest one-week drop since Jan. 1, 1983, when the country was pulling out of its worst recession since the Great Depression.

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