Jobless Claims Fall 2.9% as Shutdown Effects Subside
Initial jobless claims fell 2.9% to 340,000 for the week ending Oct. 26, according to a Labor Department report released today.
After the numbers fell a revised 3.3% the previous week, this newest report continues the steady decline in new claims after the government shutdown contributed to a massive 21% spike in early October that was also boosted by computer issues. Even so, these latest figures failed to meet analysts' expectations of just 335,000 initial claims.
Source: Author, data from Labor Department.
From a longer-term perspective, a 2.3% increase in the four-week moving average to 356,250 initial claims is a reminder that the early October jobless jump isn't gone yet. Both the latest week's claims and the four-week average fall significantly below 400,000, a cutoff point that economists consider a sign of an improving labor market.
On a state-by-state basis, 13 states recorded a decrease of more than 1,000 initial claims for the week ended on Oct. 19 (most recent available data). California led the improvements with a decrease of 13,030 initial claims, due primarily to fewer services and trade layoffs. Pennsylvania snagged second place, dropping its numbers by 3,240, mostly due to fewer professional layoffs.
Not a single state registered an increase of more than 1,000 initial claims for the same period.
The article Jobless Claims Fall 2.9% as Shutdown Effects Subside originally appeared on Fool.com.Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFJLo.The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.