Jobless Data Has Yet To Reflect Disaster Impact

September 20, 2001 ( - Some 49,000 fewer Americans lined up for first-time unemployment benefits, in the week ending September 15, according to a data release from the US Department of Labor (DoL).

The DoL stated that the 387,000 jobless claims data does not yet show the impact of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington DC, events which have contributed to the layoff announcements in the airline industry, where some 80,000 jobs are expected to be cut.

Jobless claims are expected to spike in the coming weeks following these layoff announcements, the expected slump in the travel industry, and as the economic impact of the terrorist strikes filters through.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a more accurate measure of employment conditions because it smoothes out weekly fluctuations, fell to 409,000 from 412,250.

The number of the unemployed lining up to claim an additional week of benefits dropped by 89,000 to 3,243,000 for the week ended September 8, the latest week for which data were available.