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Financial News: U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Dip To 229,000

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Dip To 229,000

11/02/2017 - 09:11:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - A day ahead of the release of the more closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday unexpectedly showing a modest drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended October 28th.

The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 229,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's revised level of 234,000.

The dip surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to inch up to 235,000 from the 233,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The four-week moving average also fell to 232,500, a decrease of 7,250 from the previous week's revised average of 239,750.

With the decrease, the less volatile four-week moving average fell to its lowest level since hitting 232,250 in early April of 1973.

The Labor Department said claims taking procedures continue to be severely disrupted in the Virgin Islands, while the ability to take claims has improved in Puerto Rico and they are now processing backlogged claims.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, dropped by 15,000 to 1.884 million in the week ended October 21st.

The decrease pulled continuing claims down to their lowest level since hitting 1.805 million in late December of 1973.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also slid to a more than forty-year low of 1,895,750, a decrease of 9,250 from the previous week's revised average of 1,905,000.

Friday morning, the Labor Department is scheduled to release it more closely watched monthly employment report for October.

Employment is expected to jump by 312,000 jobs in October after unexpectedly dipping by 33,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 4.2 percent.

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