According to the Labor Department, initial jobless claims fell by 17,000 in the week ended November 26 to 320,000 from the prior week’s 337,000 claims. The decline in the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits filed by Americans takes into account the Thanksgiving holiday and fewer hurricane-related claims.
A Bloomberg News survey forecast jobless claims to fall 325,000 according to the median estimate of 34 economists. The estimates ranged from 315,000 to 340,000 claims. In addition, the July through September U.S. economy increased 4.3 percent, the fastest since the first quarter of last year.
“This week-to-week volatility owes a great deal to seasonal adjustment problems related to Thanksgiving,” said Zoltan Pozsar, an economist at Moody’s.com Inc. in West Chester, PA. “Claims confirm continued strength in labor markets due to strong and broad-based growth momentum entering the fourth quarter.”
The unemployment rate of eligible workers for benefits, which is said to track the U.S. jobless rate, was unchanged at 2.2 percent in the week ended November 19. According to the Labor Department, 48 states and territories reported an increase in new claims, while three reported a decline.