WASHINGTON — Initial claims for state unemployment decreased 1,000 to 301,000 in the Jan. 19 week, the Labor Department reported yesterday, the lowest level since the Sept. 22, 2007, week when the level stood at 300,000. Analysts expected initial jobless claims to rise 20,000 to 321,000 in the Jan. 19 week following three straight weeks of declines in the data.

The previous week’s initial claims level was slightly upwardly revised to 302,000 in the Jan. 12 week from 301,000.

Seasonals had expected initial unadjusted claims to decrease by 25.6%, which was close to the actual drop of 26.7% in the Jan. 19 week to a level of 408,333. There were 367,583 unadjusted claims in the comparable week a year ago.

The level of continuing claims decreased 75,000 to 2.672 million in the Jan. 12 week.

— Market News International

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