Initial Jobless Claims Edge Up

Washington, DC, Nov. 23, 2011 -- First time jobless claims for unemployment benefits ticked up slightly last week after two months of declines.

However, the increase isn't enough to reverse the downward trend. The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell to its lowest level since April.

The decline in the average indicates that companies are laying off fewer workers.

Weekly applications rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 393,000, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

The four-week average fell to 394,250. That's the eighth drop in the past nine weeks.