NEW YORK (CNNfn) - New jobless claims fell last week, but came in slightly above Wall Street forecasts, indicating the torrent of layoffs due to the sluggish economy may not be over.|
The Labor Department reported new claims for state unemployment benefits fell to 402,000 last week from a revised 405,000 the prior week. Economists expected new claims to come in at 400,000, according to Briefing.com.
The four-week moving average of new claims climbed to 398,000 from a revised 394,500. Analysts regard the moving average as a better indication of the job market as it discounts big swings in the weekly numbers.
Jobless claims for workers unemployed and collecting benefits for at least a week rose to 3.2 million for the week ending Aug. 25, the latest data available, from 3.17 million the prior week. The latest number for continued claims is the highest since 3.21 million for the week ending Sept. 26, 1992.
The weekly figures come ahead of the government's monthly jobs report for August, due Friday. Analysts forecast that payrolls fell again last month while the unemployment rate edged up to 4.6 percent from 4.5 percent in July.