Jobless claims average unchanged but total claims fall by 12,000

The US four-week moving average of initial claims for unemployment insurance was 271,000 last week, unchanged from the previous week’s average, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the US Department of Labor. The prior week’s average was revised slightly upwards by 250.

The four-week moving average decreases the volatility of the weekly numbers. Total initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended Nov. 21 were 260,000, down 12,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level.

No special factors affected this week’s initial claims.

Bloomberg reported claims fell more than the median forecast in its survey of 44 economists, which projected 270,000 claims.

Companies are limiting dismissals as a tighter labor market has made it more difficult to attract and keep skilled laborers, according to Bloomberg. Payrolls increased in October by the most in 10 months while the unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low, indicating robust employment that may persuade the Federal Reserve to raise its benchmark interest rate next month.


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