Applications for jobless benefits fell by 23,000 for the week ending Nov. 30, bringing the total to 298,000, down from last week’s revised figure of 321,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday.
This marks the seventh time in eight weeks that initial claims have fallen. Also, according to official figures, 298,000 for applications for jobless benefits is also a near six-year low.
The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, fell by 10,750, bringing the total to 322,250, down from the previous unrevised average of 333,000.
“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1 percent for the week ending November 23, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate,” the Labor Department reported.
“The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 23 was 2,744,000, a decrease of 21,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 2,765,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,796,500, a decrease of 32,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 2,829,000,” it said.
The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Nov. 23 were California (+8,326), Pennsylvania (+4,416), Michigan (+3,426), Illinois (+2,638), and Texas (+2,099).
Meanwhile, in New Jersey (-572), Florida (-492), Idaho (-293), Mississippi (-287), and Virginia (-72) posted the biggest decreases in initial claims.
Markets are poised to open higher, buoyed by the initial claims report and reports that third quarter gross domestic product expanded by at least three percent:
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