First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits showed a slight decrease in the week ended November 3rd, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.
The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 214,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 215,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 213,000 from the 214,000 originally reported for the previous week.
The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also slipped to 213,750, a decrease of 250 from the previous week’s revised average of 214,000.
Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also fell by 8,000 to 1.623 million in the week ended October 27th.
With the continued decrease, continuing claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 1.603 million in July of 1973.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims also dropped to a 45-year low of 1,633,250, a decrease of 7,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 1,640,750.
Last Friday, the Labor Department released a separate report showing stronger than expected job growth in the month of October.
The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 250,000 jobs in October after rising by a downwardly revised 118,000 jobs in September. Economists had expected an increase of about 190,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, the report said the unemployment rate in October was unchanged from the previous month at 3.7 percent, its lowest level since hitting 3.5 percent in December of 1969.
Average hourly employee earnings rose by $0.05 to $27.30 in October, reflecting a 3.1 percent increase compared to the same month a year ago.
The annual rate of hourly earnings growth accelerated from 2.8 percent in September, reaching the fastest pace since April of 2009.
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