Initial claims for state unemployment benefits
slipped 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 291,000 for the week
ended Nov. 15, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
The prior week's data was revised to show 3,000 more
applications received than previously reported.
The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better
measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week
volatility, increased 1,750 to 287,500, still at levels
consistent with solid employment growth.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dipping to
285,000 last week. Claims have now been below the 300,000
threshold for 10 straight weeks, a sign that the labor market is
A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors
influencing last week's claims data, which covered the period
during which the government surveyed employers for November's
Though the four-week average of claims increased 6,250 between
the October and November survey period, another month of
employment gains above 200,000 is expected.
The claims report showed the number of people still receiving
benefits after an initial week of aid declined 73,000 to 2.33
million in the week ended Nov. 8, the lowest since December
The unemployment rate for people receiving jobless benefits was
at 1.8 percent for a 10th straight week
(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci) ((Lucia.Mutikani@thomsonreuters.com;
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