Initial Jobless Claims Fall Again

First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell by a more-than-expected 43,000 for the week ending February 6, 2010, close to a low point set in December for the previous 18 months. Those claiming benefits for more than a week fell sharply, falling 80,000 to 4.5 million.

The 4-week moving average for initial claims was 468,500, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 469,500.

The data is further evidence that layoffs are slowing, but unemployment is expected to remain high throughout the rest of the year.