And it’s time once again to turn our attention to the weekly initial claims report:
Applications for jobless benefits increased 1,000 for the week ending Jan. 18, bringing the total to 326,000, up from last week’s revised figure of 325,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday.
The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, fell by 3,750, bringing the total to 331,500, down from the previous unrevised average of 335,250.
“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3 percent for the week ending January 11, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate,” The Labor Department report said.
“The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending January 11 was 3,056,000, an increase of 34,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,022,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,939,000, an increase of 31,000 from the preceding week's revised average of 2,908,000,” the report added.
The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Jan. 11 were Texas (+12,800), California (+8,319), Pennsylvania (+7,107), Indiana (+6,622) and Florida (+5,790).
Meanwhile, New York (-18,019), Georgia (-7,278), Alabama (-2,639), Wisconsin (-2,577), and South Carolina (-1,810) posted the biggest decreases in initial claims.
Additionally, approximately “1.4 million people who have been unemployed longer than six months lost benefits in the week that ended Jan. 4, the latest period for which figures are available,” the Associated Press reported. “That's because an emergency program that provided extended benefits expired Dec. 28.”
“The number of recipients fell to 3.7 million from 4.7 million in the previous week. About 300,000 people began receiving unemployment benefits last week,” the report added.
Markets are poised to open mixed Thursday:
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This post has been updated.