New Jobless Claims Fall More Than Expected

But continuing claims at record high for 8th straight week
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 19, 2009 8:04 AM CDT
Eddie McNeely, 40, looks over paperwork in a preparatory course at an unemployment center in Washington Monday, March 16, 2009.    (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – New jobless claims fell more than expected last week, but continuing claims set a new record for the eighth straight week and few economists expect the labor market to improve anytime soon. The Labor Department says the tally of initial requests for unemployment insurance dropped to a seasonally-adjusted 646,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 658,000. That was better than analysts' expectations.

But continuing claims jumped 185,000 to a seasonally adjusted 5.47 million, another record-high and more than the roughly 5.33 million that economists expected.