Ahmed Elbatrawy

Claims for first-time unemployment benefits fall

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, a sign of more gradual improvement in the job market.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that 367,000 people filed for initial unemployment benefits in the week ended Jan. 28, down 12,000 from a revised reading of 379,000 claims the week before.

Initial claims are a measure of applications for unemployment benefits, not all of which end up getting approved by the government.

Of those who have been approved, about 3.4 million people filed for their second week of unemployment benefits or more in the week ended Jan. 21, the most recent data available.

The government’s highly anticipated jobs report due out Friday morning, is expected to show the U.S. economy added 130,000 jobs in January, according to economists surveyed by CNNMoney.

That would mark a sharp slowdown in hiring versus December, when 200,000 jobs were created. The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 8.6%. To top of page

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Ahmed Elbatrawy