Weekly jobless claims drop below 500,000

By Associated Press

Nov 25, 2009 @ 8:35 am (Updated 1:28 pm) EST

The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week to the lowest level in over a year.

The concern is that the big improvement will be temporary as the weak economy continues to push unemployment higher.

The Labor Department says the number of people filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 35,000 to 466,000. That was the lowest level for initial claims since the week of Sept. 13, 2008, and was far better than the 500,000 that economists had expected.

The number of workers receiving benefits also fell sharply, dropping 190,000, to 5.42 million, the lowest level for continuing claims since February.