Americans' jobless claims drop
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The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped during the first week of the new year, suggesting that the huge wave of layoffs triggered by the recession and the terrorist attacks may be abating.
The drop contrasts with a Milken Institute report released today predicting that job losses will continue at a high rate.
The Labor Department reported yesterday that new claims for unemployment benefits fell by 58,000 last week to 395,000, the lowest level in three weeks.
This improvement, which came after two weeks of big increases, was about four times the 14,000 decline that many private economists had been forecasting. Analysts said it could be a further sign that labor market is stabilizing after the huge layoffs that came after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.