(By Balaseshan) The number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits fell by 23,000 last week but was more than forecast, a government data showed, the latest indication that the labor market is recovering from the Hurricane Sandy-related surge.
Jobless claims fell to 393,000 for the week ended Nov. 24 from the previous week's revised figure of 416,000, while economists projected a decline to 390,000 applications.
The four-week moving average for claims - a less volatile measure than the weekly figures - declined 7,500 to 405,250 last week, a data from the Labor Department showed.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 17 fell 70,000 to 3.287 million, while economists projected an advance to 3.323 million. The 4-week moving average was about 3.296 million, up 6,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 3.290 million.
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The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6% for the week ending November 17, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate.
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 357,015 in the week ending November 24, a decrease of 46,541 from the previous week.
The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.2% during the week ending November 17, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs fell 124,308 to 2.820 million from the preceding week.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending November 17 were in Florida (up 1,534), Michigan (up 1,427), Massachusetts (up 1,189), Kentucky (up 945), and Minnesota (up 872), while the largest decreases were in New York (down 30,603), California (down 26,337), Pennsylvania (down 11,451), Oregon (down 1,997) and North Carolina (down 1,851).