Initial Jobless Claims Fall Sharply


Washington, DC, Jan. 20, 2011 -- Initial jobless claims last week posted their biggest decline in nearly a year, the Labor Department said.

Claims fell sharply to 404,000 from a downwardly revised reading of 441,000 in the prior week.

The 37,000 drop in claims was the biggest since the week that ended Feb. 6, when claims fell by 51,000. Analysts had expected weekly jobless claims to fall to 420,000.

The big spike in the week ended January 8 may have reflected a backlog of claims built up over the holiday season.