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Applications for U.S. Jobless Claims Fall by 25K

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Applications for jobless benefits fell by 25,000 for the week ending December 1, bringing the total to 370,000, down from last week’s revised figure of 395,000, the Labor Department announced on Thursday.

The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, increased by 2,250, bringing the total to 408,000, up from last week’s revised average of 405,750, its highest point since October 2011.

“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5 percent for the week ending November 24, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate,” the report reads.

“The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 24 was 3,205,000, a decrease of 100,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,305,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,309,000, an increase of 7,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,301,250,” the report adds.

The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending December 1 were Wisconsin (+5,876), Oregon (+2,328), Ohio (+2,252), Washington (+2,107), and Iowa (+1,262).

Meanwhile, New Jersey (-23,966), California (-7,053), New York (-6,682), Texas (-6,425) and North Carolina (-2,609) posted the biggest decreases in initial claims.

“The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid fell sharply last week as a temporary spike caused by Superstorm Sandy has faded,” the Associated Press reports.

That's odd. Have you noticed that when the numbers show any sign of improvement, the Sandy excuse seems to fade away almost immediately?

Oh, wait, we spoke too soon: "The impact of the storm can still be seen in the four-week average. It rose to 408,000 last week," the AP notes.

Okay, so let's see if we got this straight: A decrease in initial claims means Sandy has "faded," but an increase in the four-week average means the "impact of the storm" is still being felt?

How much you wanna' bet that if the numbers go up, Sandy gets trotted back out as an excuse?

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Front page photo courtesy Getty Images

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