18 January 2001, 16:36  US Jobless Claims-OVERVIEW

--US new jobless claims -37,000 at 306,000 in latest week
--US new jobless claims 4-week average -12,250 at 350,000
--US jobless claiming benefits -201,000 to 2.373 million
--US jobless claiming benefits decline largest since August 1992
--US jobless benefits 4-week average +15,750 to 2,466,750
By Simon Kennedy BridgeNews
Washington--Jan. 18--New claims for U.S. state unemployment insurance benefits fell 37,000 to 306,000 during the week ended Saturday, the lowest level in nearly four months, the U.S. Labor Department said, and far below the 358,000 median estimate of analysts surveyed by BridgeNews. The 4-week moving average fell 12,250 to 350,000.
* * * The estimates of analysts surveyed by BridgeNews put initial jobless claims for the latest week in a range of 350,000 to 370,000.
For the week ended Jan. 6, initial claims fell a revised 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000, originally reported as 345,000, Labor said. For the same week, the 4-week moving average for new claims was 362,250, originally 363,000 per week.
In new data for the week ended Jan. 6, 2.373 million people were reported claiming unemployment benefits under regular state programs, down 201,000 from the previous week's revised 2.574 million, Labor said. The unusually large 201,000 decline, the largest decline since August 1992, mostly offsets a 202,000 increase recorded in the week ended Dec. 23. The 4-week moving average for the week of Jan. 6 for continuing claims fell 15,750 to 2,466,750.
The seasonally adjusted rate of insured unemployment during the week ended Jan. 6 dropped to 1.9 from the previous week's 2.0%. The ratio represents people claiming benefits as a percentage of the workforce potentially eligible for these benefits.
Data on continuing claims and the insured unemployment rate are reported with a one-week delay. End
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