September 29th, 2011
08:37 AM ET

First-time unemployment tumbles to lowest level since April

The number of Americans filing for their first week of unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in nearly six months, possibly signaling slight improvement in the job market.

There were 391,000 initial unemployment claims filed in the week ended Sept. 24, the Labor Department said Thursday, down 37,000 from the prior week's revised 428,000.

The drop was much better than expected, as economists forecast initial claims to fall to 419,000, according to

New claims for unemployment benefits have stuck around or above 400,000 since early April, a level economists often say is too high to signal the unemployment rate will come down anytime soon.

The recent drop to 391,000 maked the lowest level since the week of April 2, when 385,000 new claims came in.

For the country overall, the unemployment rate is still at 9.1%

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Doc Detroit


    Its good to see positive news on the employment front. It looks like the Republican presure put on on Whitehouse is working. I'm happy to see that Americans our getting control of their lives again.

    September 29, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. justathought

    There needs to be a balance sheet comparing lost jobs with new jobs created in the same time frame to give an honest overview of total employment plus the number of lost benifets due to expired benifet time, otherwise this report is meaningless. There also needs to be a way to tract potental avialable employees who have simply given up finding employment; this could be in the hundres of thousands.

    September 29, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sigh

    @Detroit Doc:
    ýou're joking, right? Pressure from the Republicans? The ones who have sold America down the river for the almighty dollar? Get real.

    September 29, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Timmy

      Sigh, unemployed are we. Most likly a Democrap

      September 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Clint Eastwood

    I bet that Barack Obama and his cronies are going to have a big field day over this one! Now Obama thinks that he's going to get reelected next year.

    September 29, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. gung hoe

    @sigh PLEASE OPEN YOUR EYES thats when i went from your side to thinking for myself And when I did that sir generaly my vote goes to the right Now you want to talk about selling down the river OLD WILD BILLY AND HIS WIFE HAVE DONE A MIGHTY FINE JOB OF THAT Who was it sigh that signed nafta nothing more needs to be said other than OPEN YOUR EYES PLEASE

    September 29, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. gung hoe

    @justathought right on with your earlier post .Three years ago I Tried to draw couldnt because owned my own buisness and partner with my wife But they didnt have any problem taking the unemployment taxes ,Well Ive made changes they no longer get the taxes

    September 29, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. fernace

    But unemployment over all is still at 9.1 %! So the bad news is that people are still filing for unemployment! Call me when 390,000 jobs have been filled, til then, I'll reserve my moments of jumping for joy! PS, the only pressure the GOP-TP is putting on Washington is how to better facilitate the kissing of the bootays of their wealthy benefactors! Don't think anything different, & if all you misguided souls vote 1 of them into the White House, the consequences will be dire to working class Americans! Halloo, 3rd World, here we come! Talk about credit downgrade!!

    September 29, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. melissa

    *waves little flag* Yay, so not as MANY people are losing their jobs. But what about those people that didn't qualify for unemployment, or those that have been out of work for over a year? Not everyone CAN get unemployment benefits b/c of how long they worked, or how they left. So these #'s don't mean a whole lot to me.

    September 29, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. gung hoe

    @fernace hope the weather gettin better for ya HUM my friend if we dont vote a republican in that would mean obama and really do you really believe the country can take 4 more ,I mean shoot he hasnt finished the 3rd year and if I didnt know better Id swear hes out to ruin everything all have worked for

    September 29, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ann


    September 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Frank

    People of the United States of America and President Obama,
    Mr.President,there you go again.Please stop throwing
    what I like to call "FOG BALLS" balls at the American People.
    The real number your administration should put out there is how many people FOUND FULL TIME JOBS and went went out UNEMPLOYMENT.Corpartions and small Business are cuttiing cost everywhere to maximize PROFIT and increase their MARGIN.If no one is hiring the unemployment will keep rising!

    September 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. justathought

    Sometimes I think I'm the only one that cry's out: BRING THE JOBS BACK HOME! For sure the Washington jerks don't hear it. I think there ought to be more heard from the public, yet it seems nobody cares! WHY?

    September 29, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. fernace

    @ gung hoe, we're having a thunder shower this very moment & the Bastrop fires are in 98% containment! As far as your political question, at this point better the devil you know,ya know! I'll be frank, you be joe 🙂 ! What I mean to say is the GOP-TP candidates scare me! They're not normal GOP anymore, otherwise I'm for best candidate win & do the job For the People! I don't see any prez candidates fitting that description, except Huntsman & we know he wont get the nod! The rest of the fundamental "christians" will make an atheist call for Gods help! Hope that answers your question,you have a great eve!!

    September 29, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeremy

    I blame obama!!!

    obama 2012!

    September 29, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Peter

    First time unemployment down does not mean job market is good.
    For example, My Company 5 months ago has more than 500 employees.
    After 4 layoffs, it now has less than 300 employees.

    For sure, my company has not much employee to lay off, except close the door!

    We must compare NUMBER OF FULL TIME EMPLOYEE WITH 2008 when Obama get into the office.
    Does number of employee is still the same :)?

    February 16, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |