Jobless Claims Dip Below 400,000 Mark

June 6, 2002 ( - In a positive sign for the US labor market, the number of jobless claims fell to their lowest level in more than a year last week as they slipped below the key 400,000 mark for the first time in 2-1/2 months, according to the latest data from the US Department of Labor (DoL).

Initial jobless claims dropped to 383,000 in the June 1 week, from a revised 415,000 in the prior week and the lowest since matching 383,000 in the May 5, 2001 week, the DoL said.

The new claims fell further than expected by Wall Street analysts, who forecast a slight drop to 407,000 from DoL’s original measure of 410,000 in the May 25 week.

The four-week moving average – a closely watched indicator that gives a better perspective of long-term labor market trends – was 411,250, a decrease of 8,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 419,750.