Jobless Claims Fall by 9%

November 8, 2001 ( - The number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits for the first time dropped by 46,000 in the week ending November 3, a decrease of more than 9% on the previous week's revised total.

The number settled at 450,000, in comparison with the previous week’s revised total of 496,000 according to the Department of Labor.

Economists polled by Reuters had anticipated that initial claims would increase slightly to reach 504,000.

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The closely-watched four-week moving average, viewed by most economists as a better indicator of unemployment, fell to 487,250 – a drop of 8,750 from previous week’s revised average of 496,000. The number represents a 54% increase on the 317,250 level recorded a year ago.

The figure follows the release of the October unemployment report, which saw the unemployment rate shoot up by 0.5% to reach 5.4%.