Jobless Claims Fall Again

July 3, 2002 ( - The nation's jobless claims fell for the second month in a row - and to a 15-month low last week - and there are signs that the longer-term picture is improving as well.

The US Department of Labor (DoL) reported that new applications for jobless benefits dropped by a seasonally adjusted 11,000 to 382,000 for the work week ending June 29, the lowest level since last March. 

The drop was better than expected news for many analysts, who had anticipated a flat reading from the week before.

It marked the fifth straight week that claims were below the 400,00 mark, a level typically associated with weakness in the job market.  Just as significantly, the more stable four-week moving average of claims last week dipped to 392,000, the lowest level in just over three months.

However, the report also showed that the number of unemployed workers continuing to draw jobless benefits kept growing – registering 3.7 million for the week ending June 22.
DoL will release June’s employment report Friday morning, and many analysts are anticipating a slight increase to 5.9% from the 5.8% reported last month.  Analysts estimate that around 75,000 jobs were created in June, according to the Associated Press.