- POSTED: 09 Jan 2014 23:59
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New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits fell last week, the government reported on Thursday in a report suggesting improvement in the labour market.
WASHINGTON: New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits fell last week, the government reported on Thursday in a report suggesting improvement in the labour market.
Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, fell by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 330,000 in the week ending January 4, the Labour Department said. The prior week's number was revised upward to 345,000.
The latest claims number came in below the average analyst estimate of 338,000.
The four-week moving claims average, which helps to smooth week-over-week volatility, fell by 9,750 to 349,000. A year ago, claims stood at 373,000.
"Claims are back in the moderate-to-normal zone. The trend is through an erratic series of recent observations but still points lower," said Robert Brusca, chief economist at FAO Economics.
On Friday, the Labour Department releases the December data on job creation and unemployment. The economy is expected to have added 197,000 jobs, down from 203,000 in November. The jobless rate is expected to hold unchanged at 7.0 percent.