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Job Loss Down, A Little

How we're doing. Source: Department of Labor hide caption

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Source: Department of Labor

Some 24,000 fewer souls made initial claims for unemployment insurance last week, the Department of Labor reports. If you squint hard at the last two bars on our chart, you can see the averaged week-to-week difference. The difference from April, and certainly from this time last year, is easier to spot.

However small the change may be, when economists say that the downturn is moderating, this is the kind of number they mean. Of the states, Florida registered the biggest decrease in new claims, citing fewer layoffs in construction, manufacturing and agriculture among other industries. Michigan noted 4,385 fewer layoffs, a change it attributed to fewer cannings in the automobile industry.