Initial Unemployment Claims Moderate

April 19, 2001 ( - Initial unemployment insurance claims moderated slightly in the week ending April 14, falling to 385,000 from the previous week's five year high of 395,000.

Though, this number is an improvement on last week’s record, the figure for the four- week moving average is cause for concern.

The more telling figure, which smoothes out weekly fluctuations, rose for the third week in a row to 382,250 from 381,500 the week before, its highest level since its peak at 388,500 in the week of April 13, five years ago.

Those who have already claimed a week of benefits numbered 2,513,000, down from the 2,560,000 see the previous week, but still at levels not seen since January 1997.