Initial Jobless Claims Lower Than Expected

Washington, DC, Sept. 17, 2009--Initial jobless claims fell 12,000 to a 545,000 last week, the lowest since mid-July, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.

Meanwhile, the number of people collecting regular state benefits rose by 129,000 in the week ending Sept. 5 to 6.23 million.

The number of people claiming benefits of any kind was 9.53 million. Economists  expected initial claims to rise to 563,000 in the week ending Sept. 12.