Jobless Claims Dip Slightly

August 22, 2002 ( - Even the jobless claims numbers appeared to wilt in last week's heat, slipping slightly to 389,000, a drop of 2,000 from the week before.

The US Department of Labor noted that the four-week moving average for claims, designed to smooth out weekly fluctuations, rose by 5,750 to 388,250.

However, the count held below the 400,000 mark for the 10th week in a row, the longest such stretch since the recession began in March of last year.

Wall Street economists had forecast new claims to fall to 386,000 from the original measure of 388,000 in the week of August 10, according to Reuters.

In an indication of a slowly improving labor market, the number of unemployed workers continuing to draw jobless benefits totaled 3.52 million for the week ending August 10, down slightly from the previous week. This figure had hit a high of 3.83 million in May.