For the week ending October 2nd, new unemployment claims totaled 445,000 – a decline of 11,000 from the previous week. New claims similarly declined last week by 13,000, according to the Labor Department. Even though the amount of new jobless claims remains historically high, the current level is well below the peak of 651,000 claims in late March of 2009. Additionally, with the Census continuing to wind down, fluctuations in the number of new claims have become more modest. Only 4,406 temporary Census employees remain on the payroll and this number has gradually declined since May, when temporary workers peaked at 585,729.