WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New claims for unemployment benefits plunged by 16,000 last week to 453,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday, a steeper fall than had been anticipated in a sign that labor markets may be strengthening modestly.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast that claims would come in at 460,000. The government revised the prior week’s figure up to 469,000 claims.
The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of underlying labor market trends, fell 6,250 to 458,000, its lowest level since July 24.
(It’s funny, this news hasn’t appeared yet on politico.com – when new jobless claims last rose it was their headline story…instantly. Update: ah, they finally mentioned the news, four hours after it appeared on the Time site. But it’s not the headline, it’s just linked in their sidebar. They must think it’s bad news ;-)