The Labor Department announced that 395,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, down 58,000 from the week before. The reduction of claims may be a sign that the labor market is stabilizing following the mass layoffs after September 11. Economists predict the recession will end by summer and that jobless rates should stabilize around 7 percent by that time. When it meets late this month, the Federal Reserve is expected to reduce rates again by a quarter point to guarantee the economic recovery.
See Associated Press, The New York Times, January 9, 2002