Jobless Claims Remain Below Key Level

June 20, 2002 ( - In a sign that the job market is slowly climbing out of the doldrums, fewer Americans lined up to claim their first state unemployment benefit checks, according to the Department of Labor (DoL).

For the third consecutive week, initial claims remained below the key 400,000 level that economists view as symptomatic of a recession, falling by 2,000 to 393,000 in the week ending June 15, from a revised 395,000 for previous week, DoL data show.

The fall was below analysts’ expectations.

The four-week moving average for initial jobless claims, which economists view as a better indicator of the unemployment situation, fell from 7,250 to 396,250, its lowest level in two months.