Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jobless Claims Fall for 3rd Straight Week

The number of people signing up for jobless benefits declined last week, the third straight drop from a six-year high reached earlier this month, according to the Labor Department.

Applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 425,000, down 10,000 from the previous week.

Overall, though, the jobless rate remains high. There were 332,000 initial claims for benefits in the year-ago period. Futher, the number of people continuing to receive unemployment also rose to 3.4 million, up 64,000 from the previous week and the highest level in almost five years.

A Labor Department analyst said, accordng to AP, that the impact of a recent Labor Department outreach program (The department began an outreach effort in late July to notify people of a 13-week benefit extension approved by Congress in June) has largely faded, playing only a small role in unemployment claims this week.

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