U.S. jobless claims drop 24,000 last week

WASHINGTON, April 22 (BestGrowthStock) – The number of U.S. workers
filing new applications for unemployment insurance fell as
expected last week, resuming a downward trend that had been
interrupted by the Easter holiday, government data showed on
Thursday.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped
24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 456,000 in the week ended April
17, the Labor Department said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected claims to fall to
455,000 from the previously reported 484,000, which was revised
down to 480,000 in Thursday’s report. The data covered the
survey period for the government’s closely monitored employment
report for April, which will be released on May 7.

The four-week moving average of new claims, which irons
out week-to-week volatility, rose 2,750 to 460,250.

While initial claims and the four-week average are still
above levels viewed by analysts as in line with job market
stability, anecdotal evidence indicates employment is creeping
up.

Last month, the economy recorded its largest jobs gain in
three years, largely driven by private sector hiring as
employers started to warm up to the economy’s recovery — which
is showing signs of gathering momentum.

Analysts expect the hiring trend continued in April, also
supported by recruitment for the 2010 census.

The number of people still receiving benefits after an
initial week of aid fell 40,000 to 4.65 million in the week
ended April 10, the Labor Department said. However, it was less
than market expectations for a fall to 4.60 million and the
prior week’s figure was revised up.

The insured unemployment rate, which measures the
percentage of the insured labor force that is jobless, slipped
to 3.6 percent in the week ended April 10 from 3.7 percent the
prior week.
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(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

U.S. jobless claims drop 24,000 last week