Initial Jobless Claims Plunge Last Week

Washington, DC, July 26, 2012 -- Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week, according to the Labor Department.

Jobless claims sank by 35,000 to a seasonally adjusted 353,000 in the week ended July 21, putting them just above a four-year low. It was also the biggest one-week decline of the year.

Economists had expected claims would drop to 378,000 from last week’s upwardly revised level of 388,000.

The department said figures in July are more volatile than usual due to patterns in temporary summer layoffs in the auto industry.