Initial jobless claims fell 2.6% to 336,000 for the week ending Nov. 2, according to a Labor Department report released today.
After falling a revised 1.4% the previous week, this newest report marks the fourth straight weekly decrease as unemployment numbers continue to recover from the government shutdown and computer issues. Analysts had been expecting a decrease, and their prediction of 335,000 claims was just below the actual number.
Source: Author, data from Labor Department.
From a more long-term perspective, the four-week moving average also fell 2.6%, to 348,250 initial claims. Both the latest week's claims and the four-week average fall significantly below 400,000, a cutoff point that economists consider a sign of an improving labor market.
On a state-by-state basis, California and Virginia both recorded a decrease of more than 1,000 initial claims for the week ending Oct. 26 (most recent available data). While fewer services layoffs were the primary reason for California's 4,460 drop, Virginia's 1,810 dip was due mostly to fewer manufacturing layoffs.
For the same period, six states registered increases of more than 1,000 initial claims. Oregon's claims increased the most (2,960), followed by Florida (2,870) and Illinois (2,460).
The article Initial Jobless Claims Fall 2.6% as Shutdown Effects Subside originally appeared on Fool.com.Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFJLo. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.