U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Pull Back Off Two-Year High
After reporting a sharp jump in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the previous week, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing an unexpected pullback in initial jobless claims in the week ended September 9th.
The report said initial jobless claims fell to 284,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 298,000. The drop surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to inch up to 300,000.
The unexpected decrease came after jobless claims surged up to their highest level since a matching figure in April of 2015 in the previous week.
The spike in jobless claims in the previous week was primarily due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey, which led to widespread devastation and flooding in Texas.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average climbed to 263,250, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week's unrevised average of 250,250.
With the increase, the four-week moving average rose to its highest level since reaching 263,250 in August of 2016.
The report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, fell by 7,000 to 1.944 million in the week ended September 2nd.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims also edged down to 1,948,500, a decrease of 2,500 from the previous week's revised average of 1,951,000.