Bloomberg (08/09/12) Michelle Jamrisko; Alex Kowalski
First-time claims for state unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly in the latest week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The number of initial claims in the week ending Aug. 4 fell 6,000 to 361,000, a sign the labor market may keep improving after employment picked up in July. The median forecast of 43 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase to 370,000. The four-week average rose 2,250 to 368,250. Claims in the previous week were revised to an increase of 10,000 to 367,000 compared with the initial estimate of a gain of 8,000 to 365,000.