Weekly new unemployment claims have fell last week to their lowest levels since January. For the week ending Nov. 7, new claims were 502,000 and continuing claims stand at at 5.63 million, said the U.S. Department of Labor.
The unemployment rate is 10.2 percent.
President Obama recently signed legislation that allows for an extension of unemployment benefits for continuing claims with a maximum benefit of 99 weeks, according to MarketWatch.
By a vote of 98-0, senators approved a bill that would extend jobless benefits in all states for 14 weeks and extend the $8,000 home-buyer credit through April 30, 2010. The bill also gives workers in especially hard-hit states up to 20 weeks of extra unemployment benefits. Unemployed workers in states where the jobless rate is above 8.5% are eligible.
The news of improving weekly claims follows a report that unfilled job positions rose 57,000 (or about 2 percent) to 2.48 million in September, said the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
(Image by peter haley via Flickr cc 3.0)
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