Jobless claims dropped below 400,000 for the first time in five weeks, the Labor Department announced Thursday. In the week ending Oct. 29, initial claims dropped 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 397,000. First-time filings have fallen below 400,000 only three times since April. Analysts say that 375,000 is the benchmark for "sustained job gains.” They have not been at that level since February. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, was 404,500, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 406,500. The number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending Oct. 22 was 3,683,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,698,000. The four-week moving average was 3,703,250, a decrease of 10,500 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,713,750. States reported 2,945,642 persons claiming emergency unemployment benefits in the week ended Oct. 15 (the most recent data available), an increase of 23,705 from the prior week. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs ending Oct. 15 was 6,781,960, an increase of 103,117 from the previous week. The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Oct. 22 were in California, Georgia, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania. The largest decreases were in Arkansas, Arizona, Flroida, Puerto Rico, and Washington.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.