(By Balaseshan) The number of Americans who continued to receive
jobless benefits fell lower than forecast, a government data showed, the
latest indication that the labor market is improving modestly.
Jobless claims fell 27,000 to 341,000 last week from the previous
week's revised figure of 368,000, while economists projected a decline
to 360,000 applications.
The four-week moving average for claims -
a less volatile measure than the weekly figures - rose 1,500 to 352,500
for the week ending February 9, a data from the Labor Department
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment
during the week ending February 2 decreased 130,000 to 3.114 million,
while economists projected a rise to 3.200 million. The 4-week moving
average was about 3.187 million, down 28,750 from the preceding week's
revised average of 3.2161 million.
[Related -Are Lower Yields Signaling Higher Risk?]
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4%
for the week ending February 2, 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 359,428 in the
week ending February 9, a decrease of 29,014 from the previous week.
The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.8% during the
week ending February 2, a decline of 0.1 percentage point from the
prior week's unrevised rate. The advance unadjusted number for persons
claiming UI benefits in state programs fell 103,381 to 3.64 million from
the preceding week.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending February
2 were in California (up 11,784), Texas (up 2,071), New York (up
2,066), Florida (up 2,050), and Oregon (up 1,603), while the largest
decreases were in North Carolina (down 2,681), Tennessee (down 2,003),
Alabama (down 1,248), Michigan (down 1,011), and Connecticut (down 676).