Jobless Claims Dip

February 7, 2002 ( - The lines of US workers lining up for first time unemployment insurance benefits are getting shorter, according to data just released by the Department of Labor.

In the week ending February 2, the number of initial unemployment claims dropped by a better than expected 15,000 to 376,000 from 391,000 the previous week.

The four-week moving average, considered a better gauge of the employment picture because it smoothes out weekly fluctuations, fell to 380,500, its lowest level since August last year.

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Future ‘Tense?’

However, looking to the future, data just released from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas found job cut announcements soaring by 32% in January.