The firing rate, measured by the number of first-time jobless benefits applications, fell 16,000 for the week ending January 23, 2016, beating expectations. The Labor Department reported on Thursday that weekly jobless claims fell by 16,000 to 278,000 last week, 4,000 lower than the estimate for 282,000.
The prior week was revised up again by 1,000 to 294,000.
A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing the data and no state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending January 9.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending January 9 were in Alaska (4.8), West Virginia (3.5), Montana (3.3), Puerto Rico (3.3), New Jersey (3.2), Pennsylvania (3.2), Connecticut (3.0), Illinois (2.8), Wyoming (2.8), California (2.7), and Massachusetts (2.7).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending January 16 were in California (+16,425), Puerto Rico (+1,771), Oregon (+192), and the Virgin Islands (+4), while the largest decreases were in New York (-17,476), Pennsylvania (- 15,349), Georgia (-11,141), Missouri (-7,446), and Texas (-7,132).