Jobless Claims Drop Erases Most of Recent Claims Gain

January 15, 2004 ( - The number of jobless Americans lining up for first-time unemployment benefits fell by 11,000 for the week ending January 10 - erasing the lion's share of a 14,000 increase from the week before.

The US Department of Labor (DoL) announced a claims total for the January 10 week of 343,000, down from a revised 354,000 for the earlier week (See  Jobless Claims Jump for First Time in a Month).


The four-week moving claims average, closely watched because it irons out short-term volatility, likewise dipped – in this case by 3,000 to 347,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 350,500.

One piece of good news came in the number of jobless Americans forced to cling to the unemployment rolls because of difficulty in finding work. The DoL said the number dropped for the week ending January 3 by 128,000 to 3.13 million.

The DoL announced recently that the economy had only created 1,000 jobs during December – news that analysts believe will help prompt Federal Reserve officials to keep interest rates at their current 45-year low at the next Fed policy meeting January 27-28 (See  December Job-Creation Prediction: 130,000; DoL Data: 1,000 ).