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Financial News: U.S. Jobless Claims Drop More Than Expected To

U.S. Jobless Claims Drop More Than Expected To 202,000

02/06/2020 - 09:16:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - A day ahead of the release of the more closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by much more than expected in the week ended February 1st.

The report said initial jobless claims slid to 202,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week's revised level of 217,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 215,000 from the 216,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the bigger than expected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 193,000 in the week ended April 13, 2019.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also slipped to 211,750, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's revised average of 214,750.

Meanwhile, the report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance rose by 48,000 to 1.751 million in the week ended January 25th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims still fell to 1,742,250, a decrease of 13,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 1,755,500.

On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly employment report for January.

Employment is expected to increase by about 160,000 jobs in January after rising by 145,000 jobs in December, while the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.5 percent.

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