Unemployment Claims At Lowest Point Since July

Initial claims for unemployment dropped last week, surprising economists who had expected to see a modest increase. Instead, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that first filings declined 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 434,000. It was the second decline in two weeks and brings the number of initial claims to the lowest point since July.

A Bloomberg survey before this morning’s release found economists expecting initial claims would rise an average of 3,000. The Department of Labor did revise its preliminary number for the week ending Oct. 9 from 452,000 to 455,000. Even with the adjustment, October has seen a decrease of more than 15,000 in initial filings. The 4-week moving average, a way of smoothing out weekly bumps in the data due to holidays, weather, and other causes,  was 453,250, a decrease of 5,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 458,750.

Next week (Nov. 5) the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its initial employment survey for October. The closely-watched report details the current status of employed and unemployed workers in the U.S. based on surveys of businesses and residential households. Early predictions are that the unemployment rate will remain at 9.6 percent, while private sector jobs will grow in the range of 60,000 to 70,000.

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In addition to the BLS data, investors and economists are also carefully watching the Federal Reserve board, which is scheduled to meet Nov. 3. It’s anticipated that the board will announce an asset purchase plan.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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