Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

News > Economy
Jobless claims dip
New weekly claims for unemployment benefits fall to 343,000, below forecasts of 350,000.
January 15, 2004: 12:10 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - New jobless claims fell in the United States last week, the government said Thursday, with fewer people filing claims than Wall Street expected.

The Labor Department said 343,000 people filed new claims for state unemployment benefits in the week ended Jan. 10, compared with a revised 354,000 the prior week. Economists, on average, expected 350,000 new claims, according to

The four-week moving average, which is often seen as a more reliable gauge of the job market because it smoothes out weekly fluctuations, tumbled to the lowest level since early February 2001. The average dropped 3,000 to 347,500.

Department of Labor (DOL)

A Labor Department official said there were no special factors in the data but said there is often increased volatility in the report at this time of the year.

The unexpectedly upbeat claims numbers follow a disappointing December jobs report last Friday.

Payrolls outside the farm sector rose by just 1,000, far fewer than economists had expected, raising questions about the strength of the job market.

Analysts had been expecting a solid 130,000 increase in payrolls, partly based on positive jobless claims data for December.  Top of page

--from staff and wire reports

  More on NEWS
Elon Musk predicts a population implosion
Playboy & Hugh Hefner in pictures
Larry Flynt thinks Playboy's nude-free move is 'ludicrous'
Hillary vs. Bernie: On Wall Street, taxes, college
How to see CNN's Democratic debate in VR
Warren Buffett: 'America's never been greater'

graphic graphic