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Weekly Unemployment Claims Fall to Five-Year Low?


Applications for jobless benefits fell by 5,000 for the week ending January19, bringing the total to 330,000, down from last week’s revised figure of 335,000, the Labor Department announced on Thursday.

That's lowest unemployment claims print since Jan. 2008.

The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, decreased by 8,250, bringing the total to 351,750, up from last week’s revised average of 360,000.

“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5 percent for the week ending January 12, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate,” the report reads.

“The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending January 12 was 3,157,000, a decrease of 71,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,228,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,197,500, a decrease of 12,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,209,750,” the report adds.

The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending January 12 were Texas (+12,786), California (+10,232), Florida (+7,314), Indiana (+4,266), and New Jersey (+3,570).

Meanwhile, New York (-27,487), Georgia (-7,520), North Carolina (-5,541), Alabama (-4,245), and Wisconsin (-3,183) posted the biggest decreases in initial claims.

However, here's something worth noting:

"The decline may reflect the government's difficulty adjusting its numbers to account for layoffs after the holiday shopping season," the Associated Press notes.

"Layoffs spike in the second week of January and then plummet. The department seeks to adjust for those trends, but the figures can still be volatile," the report adds.

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Front page photo courtesy Getty Images

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