Unemployment claims slow, but still high

New claims for unemployment benefits took a sharp dip last week but still remained at a high level reflecting fallout from the ailing economy and last month's terrorist attacks, the Labor Department said today. For the work-week ending Oct. 6, new jobless claims fell a seasonally adjusted 67,000 to 468,000, a level that economists say still suggests a weak job market. The decline followed a big increase

New claims for unemployment benefits took a sharp dip last week but still remained at a high level reflecting fallout from the ailing economy and last month's terrorist attacks, the Labor Department said today.

For the work-week ending Oct. 6, new jobless claims fell a seasonally adjusted 67,000 to 468,000, a level that economists say still suggests a weak job market.

The decline followed a big increase of 79,000 in the week prior and a 63,000 gain the week before that. Those advances, which had pushed claims to a nine-year high, largely reflected layoffs in the travel and tourism industries, which have been dealt a severe blow by the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

More than 200,000 layoffs have been announced since the attacks, according to information compiled by private outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.

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