U.S. jobless claims fall to four-year low
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Fewer Americans claimed jobless benefits last week, as the number dropped to its lowest level since 2008.
For the week ending Oct. 6, applications for unemployment insurance fell by 30,000 to 339,000, the lowest since February 2008, according to a report released Thursday by the Labor Department. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg estimated 370,000 claims for last week.
The falling figure could reflect declining dismissals as employers see enough demand to keep people on the payroll, an important step toward increased hiring.
The data came supported last week’s jobs report showing the September unemployment rate at 7.8 per cent. It was the first reading under 8 per cent since January 2009, although it created the least number of jobs since June with 114,000 hires.
The four-week new claims average saw a decline of 11,500 compared to the upwardly revised number of 375,500 in the previous week. The figure is a more accurate gauge of the movement in the jobs market as it smooths out the weekly data’s volatility.
In another report released today, U.S. consumer confidence last week rose to its highest level in three months as more Americans think it was a good time to buy even as they become less optimistic about the country’s economy.