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Unemployment claims fall again

On a seasonally adjusted basis, weekly unemployment claims have been falling for the past two months, and are now down by one-third from last year's recession high. The only reason claims are falling, however, is that firms are not laying off as many people in the runup to the holiday season as they normally would be: actual claims rose by 70K last week. We can only hope that this means firms are being run leaner and meaner than usual (which would help explain why profits have been so strong), and that this may give way to more hiring if and when the economy picks up next year.

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