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Weekly US jobless claims drop 42K to 338K

Published: Thu, December 26, 2013 @ 1:05 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits dropped by 42,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 338,000, the biggest drop since November 2012.

But economists say the figures from late November and December are warped by seasonal volatility around the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's holidays.

The Labor Department reported today that the less-volatile four-week average rose 4,250 to 348,000.

Claims had jumped 75,000 over the two weeks that ended Dec. 14 before plunging last week. The Labor Department struggles to account for seasonal hiring by retailers and other businesses and for temporary layoffs of cafeteria workers and other employees at schools that close for the holidays.

Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs and the recent declines are consistent with a solid job market.

The economy has shown signs of improvement recently, so much so that the Federal Reserve announced Dec. 18 that it would reduce its stimulus spending on bonds by $10 billion — to $75 billion a month. The economy expanded at a 4.1 percent annual pace from July through September, the fastest rate since late 2011 and much greater than previously thought.


1redeye1(5266 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Damn 42000 K quit applying for unemployment in one week. Whoppee!! Wait until next week the numbers will speak volumes when a lot more will lose their benefits. The numbers will make OBAMMY look like he knows what he's doing NOT !!!

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276Ytown(1318 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

And the next warped numbers will be after Dec 28 when the number of unemployed magically drops due to federal unemployment benefits not being extended, The economy will look like it just keeps getting better and better..

Here are the numbers of folks losing benefits: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/g...

In case the labor market hasn't figured out...whenever the long term unemployed continue to be out of work and exhaust their benefits the number of "unemployed" shrinks.

Could recent inexplicable drops be due to new law eff. 10/11/13 requiring you to attend a reemployment service in person? If you fail to do so by the scheduled date, your benefits stop until you complete the required action. That should take care of all the unemployment claims filed by prisoners!

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