ICS Magazine

Jobless claims drop unexpectedly

December 20, 2001
Labor Department reports first time unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly for the third straight week.

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Labor Department reported that applications for first time unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly for the third straight week to a seasonally adjusted 384,000 in the week ended Dec. 15, down from 395,000 the previous week and the lowest level for the average since the week ending Sept. 22.

The Labor Department said that provided further signs the pace of layoffs in the weak U.S. economy may be slowing.

The four-week average -- considered a more reliable barometer of trends in jobless claims filings -- fell to 438,000 the week before, from 450,250 in the week of Dec. 8.