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<!–:en–>INITIAL UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS CONTINUE TO DECLINE BRINGING INCREASED OPTIMISM FOR UNEMPLOYMENT REDUCTIONS<!–:–>

December 15, 2011

The U.S. Labor Department released new figures for initial claims for unemployment today and it shows a continued trend in a drop in new unemployment claims. As of last week, new
claims dropped to 366,000, the lowest level since May of 2008. The new figures are a drop of 19,000 initial claims from the previous week’s adjusted figure of 385,000.

The four-week average is 387,750 — below the 400,000 level that economists say is key to cutting into the unemployment rate. There were 427,000 initial jobless claims in the same week last year, and more than 600,000 people were filing for unemployment benefits each week during the depths of the “Great Recession” in early 2009.

If, especially after 2012 begins, the initial unemployment claims continue a downward trend, the chances of continued reduced unemployment numbers will be high. 12.15.2011