Jobless Claims Continue Slow Fall

Jobless claims hit 395,000 last week, the lowest point since April, the Labor Department announced today.

The four-week moving average dropped to 405,000.

Yet employers are still cautious, analysts said: “We’re looking toward a period of financial instability … and that probably will inspire a lot of caution and nowadays, caution translates into layoffs,” Pierre Ellis, a senior economist at Decision Economics in New York, told Reuters.

Meanwhile, for the week ended July 23 (the most recent week data were available), nearly 90,000 Americans dropped off the unemployment rolls, many likely because they had exhausted their benefits rather than found new jobs; a total of 7.5 million people received unemployment checks that week.