Weekly Unemployment Claims Better than Expected

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New U.S. claims for state unemployment benefits fell sharply last week, the fourth decline in five weeks, providing further evidence that the pace of layoffs has slowed after months of steep job cuts. Initial claims for state jobless benefits tumbled 34,000 to 601,000 in the week ended May 2, the Labor Department said in a weekly report Thursday. That’s the lowest level since late January. Wall Street economists had expected a 4,000 rise, according to a Dow Jones Newswires survey.

The four-week average — which aims to smooth volatility — slid for a fourth-straight week, by 14,750 to 623,500, the lowest since mid-February (see chart above).
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24 Responses to “Weekly Unemployment Claims Better than Expected”


  1. 1 Leonardo Sanchez Econ 101 May 7, 2009 at 11:14 AM

    Yes the layoff have slowed alot but the economy itself is

    staying stabled without much improvements niether its not

    getting that much worse. a person has to see this economy

    effects in the long run. For example what damages does this to

    us in the job / house / life market.

  2. 2 Tom Jones May 7, 2009 at 1:30 PM

    Hopefully now since layoffs have slowed now more people can hold a job and make this economy become better than stable. And now that unemployment claims are down people will continue to get new jobs which will hopefully jump start our economy

  3. 3 wallacej May 7, 2009 at 7:12 PM

    Wow this is good to see that the layoff are not rising as rapidly as they were before. Our economy is getting better but still has a long way to go. Hopefully we will get back up to the top. We need to rebuild our economy to get it started again.

  4. 4 Tracy Thomas May 7, 2009 at 7:56 PM

    It’s good news to hear that the economy is stabalizing. Hopefully this will ensure the public that good times are once again around the corner. We need to bring back comsumer confidence so that people will not be so scared to spend and investest their money. I think the Obama admistration has keeped there campaign promises and has done there best to stimulate our economy.

  5. 5 Lucas Tirelli May 9, 2009 at 9:05 AM

    That should be helpful to help the economy to start stabilizing. The fear of purchasing among consumers should slowly disappear if the job market keeps going this way. If this happens, consumption will go up, increasing production and thus the number of jobs available, which will make the economy go better and better. Consumer confidence is one of the most important, if not the most important factor of our economy’s well-being.

  6. 6 phanh May 11, 2009 at 11:25 AM

    this is going to be helpful for the economy now we just need it to get better and stay better

  7. 7 Hyo Kim May 11, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    unemployment rate goes down is also meaning that, people in the states are getting the money to spend, which will make this economy gets better.

  8. 8 Genine Lobo May 12, 2009 at 1:21 PM

    This is great news for our economy! This fourth decline in five weeks gives those currently working a more stable feeling. Those who are unemployed can now have hope for a turn around in the job market. Although the unemployment situation is getting better, many people in our country are still suffering and must continue to work out of the recession.

  9. 9 Matthew Dimech Econ-101 May 12, 2009 at 2:56 PM

    I couldn’t say it better than the comment above me. This graph makes us all who have jobs feel so much better. This proof maybe prime for us to see if the end of the recession is in our sites. With a decline in job losses means more money in the economy and that is exactly what we need.

  10. 10 B's May 13, 2009 at 12:13 PM

    This is good to see that the layoffs are slowing down which is giving people a feeling that their jobs are becoming more secured again. When people feel they have job security they are more willing to go out and spend money. This is important to get our economy to continue back on track and become stable once again.

  11. 11 Nirbhik Trehan May 13, 2009 at 10:43 PM

    this is a good news as people are felling that there jobs have become much safer thus they are going out and spending their money more than they did before when they had a pressure of losing there job. I think this help the US come back on track as people have started spending so demand goes up and eventually unemployment reduces.

  12. 12 Casey Kingdon May 14, 2009 at 7:28 PM

    Hey, there might be light at the end of the tunnel after all. This is definitely good for both the media and the jobless Americans. But the question now is: is this the end of it all, or will the unemployment rate spike once again? At this point it is impossible to tell, but according to the graph, the unemployment rate has started calming down before, just to shoot back up once again.

  13. 13 Courtney G. May 14, 2009 at 8:48 PM

    This is good news! Although the unemployment rate has been fluctuating like crazy lately. Hopefullly it will continue to decline. There are a lot of jobless americans out there hoping to get their jobs back. maybe there is a chance that the economy is getting stronger and better now.

  14. 14 tmt2 May 14, 2009 at 10:56 PM

    It’s stabilizing but I think it’s too soon to get happy about this because compared to 4/08 its still a really high amount. It looks kind of close to being doubled from last year’s unemployment claims. I think it will be a slow process for it climb back down to what we are used to and it is still not steady enough to feel secure.

  15. 15 tlr7 May 15, 2009 at 12:30 PM

    Its great to hear that inclining rate of job layoffs is falling, although it still is a problem that there are more layoffs than usual still going on. It is showing though that things are looking better for our economy even if it is a slow progress.

  16. 16 Molly Jordan May 16, 2009 at 9:07 PM

    It is good to see that the job loss is dropping, but unfortunately people are still losing their jobs, it is just at a slower rate. Hopefully the economy will recover soon rather than later.

  17. 17 Robert LaVoy May 17, 2009 at 2:12 PM

    Its great to hear that the unemployment rate is drooping. The more people there are back in the work force directly correlates to the rise of our GDP. With these changes being made, in addition to the enormous stimulus package that the Obama administration is planning to release, more and more jobs will become available.

  18. 18 Andrea Nemeth May 18, 2009 at 2:31 PM

    since the layoffs have started to slow more people can hold do more sturdy jobs. they can begin to save more money and start the long process of turning everything around. Even though the job losses have slowed doesnt mean we are out of the hole yet though. People will still continue to lose their houses and other things until the job market becomes even more stable.

  19. 19 Leticia Martinez May 18, 2009 at 6:20 PM

    Its good to see that unemployment benefits have declined when it means that the rate at which employers are laying off people has decreased. Less people are finding themselves unemployed. However, I’m not sure if looking at how much unemployment benefits are going out is an accurate read on the level of unemployment. Especially, when it is getting harder to receive unemployment benefits. My brother-in-law, last month, got his unemployment benefits cut because he’s going to school to receive his GED because it “takes time away from looking for a job” when it is in fact his unions responsibility to find a job for him.

  20. 20 Pat Kolcum May 19, 2009 at 6:08 PM

    It seems as though if unemployment beings to stabilize then eventually improve the rest of the economy will follow the positive changes. When people start to realize that jobs are not being lost they will have a new sense of hope in our economy and that too will hopefully help pull us out.

  21. 21 Debbie May 20, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    Well, for those of us Unemployed, it really doesn’t mean much. I think that these numbers are not true to what is happening out there. It only means that less people applied for unemployment in a given period. It doesn’t mean that unemployment is going down. We have an average of 200 applicants for 1 position. And the competition is very tough. We shall see what happens in the long run.

  22. 22 jordan May 20, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    It is always good to hear that the unemployment rate is improving because the more jobs there are, the more money there will be in the economy. It’s going to take a lot to get back to where it was, but the small improvements are really big improvements in the long run.

  23. 23 Alyssa McKinney May 20, 2009 at 7:58 PM

    It was bound to happen. After the failing markets were able to make the cuts they needed, there was destined to be a point where thousands of people weren’t getting laid off every week. The next step though is to find out where those unemployed can find work for themselves. We’re only a fraction of the way there.

  24. 24 Lani July 6, 2009 at 6:34 PM

    Somewhat of what we have experienced is in the Economic curve of Calif. Many businesses large and small have cut back to the core. Some will survive, some not. Prime jobs not really to be had for a while. Tight belts all around!


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