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VOL. 123 | NO. 32 | Friday, February 15, 2008

Jobless Claims Decline by Larger-Than-Expected Amount

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER | AP Economics Writer

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of newly laid off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell last week by a larger-than-expected amount.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for jobless benefits totaled 348,000 last week, down by 9,000 from the previous week.

Analysts had been expecting a slightly smaller decrease of around 6,000.

The four-week average for claims, which smoothes out the weekly volatility, rose by 3,500 to 347,250, the highest level for this number since October 2005.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 86 393 21,159
MORTGAGES 94 424 24,785
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 93 8,703
BUILDING PERMITS 173 1,010 43,347
BANKRUPTCIES 52 292 14,194
BUSINESS LICENSES 15 90 6,491
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 28 167 13,678
MARRIAGE LICENSES 12 89 5,158

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