Fewer People Signed Up for Unemployment Benefits This Week

This morning, the Department of Labor announced that 473,000 people filed for unemployment benefits in the week ended August 21. That’s 31,000 fewer poor laid-off saps than in the prior week, and a lower number of claims than Wall Street Analysts had been expecting. Hooray?

Not exactly, since economists tend to think a “good” rate of weekly initial claims is somewhere between 400,000 and 450,000. On the other hand, almost everyone agrees that 473,000 welfare slobs is better than last week’s half a million, a nine-month high.

Sort of. The Labor Department’s count of people who continued to file for government assistance came in at 4.46 million, 62,000 less than a revised figure for the previous week and below analyst expectations of around 4.5 million.

Fewer People Signed Up for Unemployment Benefits This Week