Jobless Claims Take a Dip

January 29, 2004 ( - The number of jobless Americans lining up for first-time unemployment benefits dipped slightly last week, the government reported.

The US Department of Labor (DoL) said that the claims total for the week ending January 24 was down 1,000 to 342,000 from a revised 343,000. The four-week moving average – closely followed because it irons out short-term volatility – was 346,000, an increase of 750 from the previous week’s revised average of 345,250.

Finally, the number of people forced to cling to the jobless rolls because of difficulties finding work was up 11,000 for the week ending January 17 to 3.13 million.

Analysts in Reuters’ weekly survey   were expecting claims of 340,000.