April 1st, 2010
08:49 AM ET

Jobless claims match 19-month low

The number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance for the first time fell last week, matching the lowest level since August 2008, according to government data released Thursday.

There were 439,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended March 27, down 6,000 from an upwardly revised 445,000 the previous week, according to the Labor Department's weekly report.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected new claims to dip to 440,000 in the week. The number of new claims matches the lowest level since the week ended Feb. 6.

The Labor Department also tracks the 4-week moving average of initial claims, which smoothes out volatility in the measure. That number was 447,250 for the week, down 6,750 from the previous week's downwardly revised average of 454,000.

The report also said that 4,662,000 people filed continuing claims in the week ended March 20, the most recent data available. That figure was down 6,000 from the preceding week's 4,668,000 claims and slightly higher than the 4.62 million economists expected, according to Briefing.com.

The 4-week moving average for continuing claims was 4,679,500, a decrease of 12,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 4,692,000.

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. This number is a scam

    This number is a scam. More people are unemployed now than when Obama took office. The unemployment percent is a scam because it does not include those out-of-work-but-not-looking. The true number of unemployed is now 12-13% not the 9.x that Obama wants you to believe. Fact is that Obama has wasted a trillion $ of future tax money to fill the coffers of companies (and shareholders) instead of directing the money towards the people. He is a disaster of a president ... please don't re-elect this smooth talking person or we are soon to a third world country with debt problems like Greece. The ONLY reason unemployment claims are down is that most peoples unemployment claim ran out of time. Don't believe the SCAM that Obama is pulling ... we are in deep crap because of Obama's reckless spending which did nothing for the people and lined the pockets of his friends. Two years is already too much and heading for worse. Please don't re-elect this disaster.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Need A Job

    This number is incorrect because it does not account for the people who have lost their unemployement benifits and are still looking for work!

    April 1, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Eugene

    Obama is doing the same thing that Bush did, took care of the big boys first. This is straight out of the "trickle down" playbook the Republicans and their brainwashed "teabaggers" have been running on this country since Reagan. If McCain had been elected would you have seen calling his numbers a scam? They would probably have been worse as he would have let the auto industry die.
    You think the economy is bad now, just wait until Sarah gets it in 2012

    April 1, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. Colin Bridges

    While I agree that the way that unemployment is calculated incorrectly and skewed not to include large groups of people like the underemployed and people who have fallen off the rolls, let's not forget who started this whole problem: George W. Bush. He enacted a series of tax cuts and then decided to recklessly run up the deficit on an unnecessary and ill-executed invasion. I went from a 70K/year job to stocking shelves at Wal-Mart, so believe me I understand people's frustration. The Republicans are the party of reckless spending, and now the Democrats have to clean up after them.

    April 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Faulty numbers

    This is a complete scam. Its down because all the seasonal workers like landscapers etc in the cold climates in the Northeast etc. are starting their jobs again. The number or actual unemployed people who don have a job year round hasnt budged I'm sure.

    April 2, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |