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Author Topic: Jobless benefit rolls drop, first time in 20 weeks  (Read 1105 times)
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Miss Mia
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« on: June 04, 2009, 01:34:22 pm »

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Jobless benefit rolls drop, first time in 20 weeks
New report also shows U.S. workers more productive in the first quarter

WASHINGTON - The number of people on the unemployment insurance rolls fell slightly for the first time in 20 weeks, while the tally of new jobless claims also dipped, the government said Thursday.

The Labor Department report provides a glimmer of good news for job seekers, though both drops were small and the figures remain significantly above the levels associated with a healthy economy.

The department also said U.S. workers were more productive in the first quarter than previously estimated, as rapid layoffs forced companies to make do with fewer employees.

The tally of first-time claims for jobless benefits declined to a seasonally adjusted 621,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 625,000, nearly matching analysts’ expectations.

The total jobless benefit rolls fell by 15,000 to 6.7 million, the first drop since early January. Continuing claims had set record highs every week since the week ending Jan. 24. The continuing claims data lag initial claims by one week.

Separately, sales fell in May at many retail stores as shoppers spent cautiously, focusing on bargains and food.

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