Initial Jobless claims fell more than forecast to their lowest level since April.
Initial jobless claims fell below 400,000 for the first time since August in the week ending Sept. 24, the Commerce Department announced today. First time claims for unemployment benefits dropped to 391,000, a decline of 37,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 428,000 and the fewest since last April. A Bloombergsurvey of economists forecast initial jobless claims from 410,000 to 430,000, but a Labor Department official said that the surprising figures were due to an atypical calendar alignment that included a 53-week calendar year, a late Easter and the end of a quarter, Bloomberg reported. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, was 417,000, a decrease of 5,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 422,500. The number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending Sept. 17 was 3,729,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,749,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,743,000, a decrease of 4,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,747,500. States reported 3,036,635 persons claiming emergency unemployment benefits in the week ended Sept. 10, an increase of 39,376 from the previous week. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending September 10 was 6,984,897, an increase of 95,242 from the previous week. The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Sept. 17 were in Georgia, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Texas. The largest decreases were in Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, and Puerto Rico.