The Straits Times
Published on Jan 17, 2013

US jobless claims drop to five-year low as market improves


WASHINGTON (AFP) - New US jobless claims dropped last week to the lowest level in five years as the ailing jobs market slowly improves, official data released today showed.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totalled 335,000 in the week ending Jan 12, down a hefty 37,000, or almost 10 per cent, from the prior week's revised level, the Labour Department reported.

The often volatile weekly claims report was lower than the 370,000 analysts expected.

Last week's four-week moving claims average fell to 359,250 from the prior week's 366,000.