Initial unemployment insurance claims fell 11,000 in the week ending July 24, beating the market consensus of a 4,000-claim drop. Jobless claims slipped to a seasonally adjusted 457,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised figure of 468,000, according to new data today from the US Department of Labor. The four-week moving average slipped 4,500 to 452,500 this week. Analysts had expected jobless claims to slip to 460,000 this week, from last week’s initial estimate of 464,000. Last week, New York reported the largest decrease among the states, as initial jobless claims fell by 19,552 on fewer layoffs in the transportation and service industries. Pennsylvania, Florida and Wisconsin, all of which posted decreases of more than 1,000 claims last week, reported fewer layoffs in the construction industry. The week’s declining jobless claims arrive after unemployment benefits were recently extended. President Barack Obama last week signed the bill that extends unemployment benefits for the more than 2.5m Americans out of work. The law extends the cutoff for benefits from June 2 to November 30. Unemployed citizens will continue to receive payments for 73 weeks after that, for a total of 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. The law works in concert with Home Affordable Unemployment Program, which gives qualified homeowners the ability to borrow up to $50,000 to assist them with their mortgage, provided that they have a reasonable prospect of resuming payments within 24 months. Write to Diana Golobay.

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