The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 260,000 for the week ending September 30, as hurricane impact fades. Economists had forecast claims to come in between 260,000 to 300,000, with the median forecast of 265,000.
While Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria impacted this week’s claims, they already appear to be returning to previous levels. The four-week moving average came in at 268,250, a decrease of 9,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 277,750.
No state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending September 16.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was still very low at 1.4% for the week ending September 23, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending September 23 was 1,938,000, an increase of just 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending September 16 were in Puerto Rico (3.3), Alaska (2.1), New Jersey (2.1), California (1.9), Connecticut (1.8), Pennsylvania (1.7),Massachusetts (1.6), the District of Columbia (1.5), Illinois (1.5), and Nevada (1.5).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending September 23 were in Florida (+8,425), Michigan (+3,635), Georgia (+3,370), Kansas (+2,505), and Missouri (+1,377), while the largest decreases were in Texas (-8,283), Ohio (-3,765), New York (-2,536), Oregon (-686), and California (-528).