U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Edge Down To 236,000
(RTTNews) - A day ahead of the release of the closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday unexpectedly showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended December 2nd.
The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 236,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 238,000. The drop surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to inch up to 240,000.
The less volatile four-week moving average also dipped to 241,500, a decrease of 750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 242,250.
The Labor Department noted claims taking procedures continue to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands, while the claims taking process in Puerto Rico has still not returned to normal.
Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, fell by 52,000 to 1.908 million in the week ended November 25th.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims still inched up to 1,912,750, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised average of 1,911,750.
On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its closely watched report on the employment situation in month of November.
Employment is expected to increase by 200,000 jobs in November after surging up by 261,000 jobs in October. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 4.1 percent.
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