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12/5/2013 8:35:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Initial Jobless Claims Drop to Two-Month Low

Initial jobless claims fell to a two-month low last week as data become difficult to adjust for seasonal variations, the Labor Department reported Dec. 5.

Claims for the week ended Nov. 30 fell by 23,000 to 298,000, the lowest level since the first week of September, Bloomberg News reported.

The number of claims was below analysts’ median forecast of 320,000 new claims, according to Bloomberg.

Jobless claim data are difficult to adjust for seasonal variations close to the holidays, so it is not unusual to see increased volatility during this time of year, the news agency reported.

“The labor market continues to improve,” Brian Jones, senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale, told Bloomberg.

“Not only is the rate of layoffs slowing precipitously, more people are finding work,” Jones said.

The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, fell to 322,250 from 333,000 the previous week.

Continuing jobless claims for the week ended Nov. 23 dropped by 21,000 to 2.74 million.

According to a separate report released Dec. 4, U.S. companies boosted payrolls by the most in a year in November.

Employment increased by 215,000 following a revised 184,000 gain in October that was larger than the initial estimate, according ADP Employer Services. Economists had forecast a 170,000 increase, Bloomberg reported.

By Transport Topics

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