Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Since Feb. 2001

November 27, 2002 ( - US jobless claims dropped to their lowest point in nearly two years, extending a string of recent declines to four straight weeks, the US Department of Labor (DoL) reported.

According to the DoL data for the week ending November 23, initial jobless claims fell 17,000 to 364,000 from a revised 381,000 for the previous week. The DoL said that was the lowest the much-watched indicator has been since it stood at 355,000 for the February 17, 2001 week.

The claims figure was also way below the 382,000 predicted by economists in a weekly Reuters survey.

The four-week moving average – considered a significant measure because it smoothes out short-term volatility – fell 11,250 from a revised 397,000

However, DoL officials cautioned that jobless claims are typically more volatile during the holiday season and that one week’s claims performance should not be taken as a sure sign of an economic recovery.

For the week ending November 16, claims dropped by 25,000 to 376,000. (See  Jobless Claims Continue Dropping ).