Some Good News From Jobless Claims

Weekly jobless claims last week fell by 43,000 to 440,000, which was enough to lower the four-week average by 1,000. And those on long-term extended unemployment benefits the week ended Jan. 23 fell to 5,447,592, a decrease of 184,627. But at the same time, that 5.4 million represents a threefold increase over the 1.8 million long-term claims filed in the same week last year, just as the recession was beginning to let us know that it wouldn’t go quietly.

Pennsylvania reported an increase of 10,000 claims the week ended Jan. 30, owing to more layoffs in the construction and service industries.