Unemployment Claims

August 13, 1993

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell slightly last week, marking the second consecutive decline.

The Labor Department said yesterday that new claims for

unemployment benefits dropped by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 332,000, the lowest level in four weeks. That followed a drop of 60,000 claims the week before -- the biggest one-week improvement in a year.

But analysts cautioned against reading too much into the latest figures. The declines largely represent the aftermath of an increase of 43,000 claims two weeks earlier after General Motors Corp. workers went on temporary layoff while plants were retooled for 1994 models.

In Maryland, the number of unemployment insurance claims dropped by more than one-third to 4,300 in the week that ended July 31.

Mary Jo Yeisley, a spokeswoman for the state's Department of Economic and Employment Development, said the number declined 2,442 from the previous week thanks to local manufacturers reopening plants after summer vacation shutdowns.

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