Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The number of American workers filing unemployment benefits claims dropped significantly last week, but officials warned that the decline was because of an error in the reporting by states.
In the week ended Sept. 7, first-time jobless insurance claims fell by 31,000 to 292,000, in a week that included the Labor Day holiday, according to a Department of Labor data released Thursday in Washington. That compares with the median forecast of 330,000 applications in a survey by Bloomberg News. A Labor Department spokesman said that the drop in claims was attributed to faulty computer work by two states.
An analyst from the agency did not name the states because of agency policy, but said one state is large and the other one is small. The analyst added most of the drop did not suggest that the job market was improving, and a more accurate data will be shown when the revised estimates are released in the coming weeks.
The four-week moving average of claims, a more reliable gauge because it smoothes out the volatility in the data, declined by 7,500 to 321,250 from the previous week. The figure is the lowest level since October 2007 and it has been around that level for several weeks.
In the week ended Aug. 31, continuing unemployment claims are at 2.87 million, a decline of 73,000. The continuing claims figure excludes those getting extended benefits under the programs of the federal government.