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Number of Americans Applying for Jobless Benefits Takes Sharp Downward Turn

Another big tumble.

Let’s take a look at our weekly jobless claims report:

Applications for jobless benefits fell by 21,000 for the week ending Nov. 16, bringing the total to 323,000, down from last week’s revised figure of 344,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, fell by 6,750, bringing the total to 338,500, down from the previous unrevised average of 345,250.

“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.2 percent for the week ending November 9, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate,” the Labor Department report reads.

“The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 9 was 2,876,000, an increase of 66,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 2,810,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,856,750, an increase of 6,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 2,850,250,” it adds.

The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Nov. 9 were California (+4,737), New York (+2,853), Pennsylvania (+2,711), Michigan (+2,271), and New Jersey (+2,210).

Meanwhile, in Florida (-1,055), Kentucky (-580), Ohio (-409), and Kansas (-169) posted the biggest decreases in initial claims.

Markets are opening mixed on unemployment claims and hints Wednesday that the Federal Reserve may soon draw down its billion dollar bond-purchasing program:

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Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

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