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Macroeconomics: The Academic Agenda

Today's UI Claims Number is Not Bad

Alan Rappeport:

FT.com / US / Economy & Fed - US jobless claims decline more than expected: The number of US workers claiming jobless benefits fell by more than expected last week, offering a small sign of hope for the stricken labour market. Separately, the National Association of Realtors said that blizzard conditions had sapped momentum from the US housing market, causing a drop in pending home sales in January. Initial jobless claims declined by 29,000 to 469,000, labour department figures showed on Thursday. That was better than economists had projected and brought the less volatile four-week average down by 3,500 to 470,750. Those continuing to claim jobless benefits fell to the lowest level in a year, dropping by 134,000 to 4.5m. Jobless claims have been skewed in recent weeks because of severe snowstorms in February, which created backlogs in processing claims and kept unemployed workers from filing claims in some areas. Economists have welcomed any decline in the level of jobless claims, although claims remain stubbornly elevated by historical standards. New claims need to fall to the low 400,000-level before the economy can begin creating jobs...

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