The Labor Department (DOL) said Thursday initial jobless claims fell sharply and far more than expected for the week ending July 15, 2017. The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 233,000, a decline of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised level and much stronger than the 246,000 forecast.
No state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending July 1 and no special factors influenced the data.
The four-week moving average–widely considered a much less volatile gauge–came in at 243,750, a decline of 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending July 1 were in Puerto Rico (3.0), New Jersey (2.5), Alaska (2.3), Connecticut (2.3), Pennsylvania (2.2), Rhode Island (2.0), California (1.9), Massachusetts (1.9), Illinois (1.7), and New York (1.7).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending July 8 were in New York (+13,871), Michigan (+8,645), Kentucky (+6,213), Ohio (+4,624), and Puerto Rico (+3,551), while the largest decreases were in California (-8,217), Missouri (-2,773), Massachusetts (-2,000), New Jersey (-1,838), and Connecticut (-1,794).