Fewer Jobless Claims Indicate Improvement


Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, with 365,000 people applying for their first week of jobless benefits. That's a significant drop from 392,000 claims the week before, and even lower than economists had predicted. A group of analysts surveyed by Briefing.com said they had expected 375,000 initial claims.

But the four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up to 383,500 last week, the highest level since December.

The U.S. government will unveil its latest jobless numbers Friday, and analysts are expecting the Labor Department to report that employers added approximately 163,000 jobs in April, which could leave the current unemployment rate at 8.2 percent.

Treasure Valley economists are getting their first look this week at Down and Out in Ada County, a chronicle of the so-called "great recession" of 2008-2012, The new publication, including analysis of the Boise area's systems of education, health care and justice, is examined in the current issue of BW.