After Month-Long Climb, First-time Unemployment Claims Fall For 2nd Straight Week

    After rising for much of the previous month, first-time claims for unemployment assistance dropped for the second straight week.

    According to figures released by the Labor Department Thursday, some 238,000 American workers filed initial unemployment claims in the week ending Jan. 29.

    That’s a drop of about 23,000 from the previous week, after such filings had climbed to 290,000 in mid-January. Previous to that, first-time claims had fallen below the 200,000 mark, dipping to about 188,000 in December.

    The four-week moving for initial filings reached 255,000 for the week ending Jan. 29, an increase of 7,750.

    Labor Department statistics show the total number of those filing unemployment insurance claims for the week ending Jan. 22 was a seasonally adjusted 1.628 million, a decrease of 44,000 from the previous week’s revised total.

    The four-week moving average for total claims fell to 1.619 million its lowest average since Aug. 4, 1973.