Unemployment

Underreporting Called Cause for Decline in Jobless Claims

So don't read much into those numbers

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Jobless claims in the U.S. declined last week to the lowest level since April 2006 as work on computer systems in two states caused those employment agencies to report fewer applications.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell by 31,000 to 292,000 in the week ended Sept. 7, which also included the Labor Day holiday, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 330,000 applications.

The decrease in filings doesn't signal a change in job-market conditions because most of it was caused by computer-network conversions in the two states, according to a Labor Department spokesman. The pace of job cuts has waned since the end of last year, setting the stage for faster payroll and income growth that would help propel consumer spending.

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