(By Balaseshan) The number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits were fewer than forecast last week, a government data showed, the latest indication that the labor market is recovering from the Hurricane Sandy-related surge.
Jobless claims fell 25,000 to 370,000 last week from the previous week's revised figure of 395,000, while economists projected a decline to 380,000 applications.
The four-week moving average for claims - a less volatile measure than the weekly figures - rose 2,250 to 408,000 last week, a data from the Labor Department showed.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 24 fell 100,000 to 3.205 million, while economists projected an advance to 3.275 million. The 4-week moving average was about 3.309 million, up 7,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3.301 million.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5% for the week ending November 24, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate.
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 498,619 in the week ending December 1, an increase of 139,678 from the previous week.
The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6% during the week ending November 24, an increase of 0.4 percentage points from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs rose 465,529 to 3.301 million from the preceding week.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending November 24 were in Wisconsin (up 5,876), Oregon (up 2,328), Ohio (up 2,252), Washington (up 2,107), and Iowa (up 1,262), while the largest decreases were in New Jersey (down 23,966), California (down 7,053), New York (down 6,682), Texas (down 6,425) and North Carolina (down 2,609).