The Labor Department said Wednesday that first-time jobless claims came in at 239,000 for the week ending November 18, a decrease of 13,000 and less than the forecast. The previous week’s level was revised up by 3,000 from 249,000 to 252,000 but the labor market continues to post unusually strong numbers.
The 4-week moving average came in at 239,750, a gain of 1,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up slightly by 750 from 237,750 to 238,500.
Continuing claims also held at historic lows at 1.904 million in lagging data for the week ending November 11. The unemployment rate for insured workers did tick up slightly by 0.1%, but also remains near historic lows at only 1.4%. The report overall bodes well for the labor market, indicating another very strong jobs report at the end of the month.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending November 4 were in Puerto Rico (4.7), the Virgin Islands (4.7), Alaska (3.1), New Jersey (2.0), Connecticut (1.8), California (1.7), Massachusetts (1.6), and Pennsylvania (1.6).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending November 11 were in New York (+3,025), Minnesota (+1,621), California (+1,241), New Jersey (+1,076), and Pennsylvania (+463), while the largest decreases were in Michigan (-2,641), Puerto Rico (-1,591), Illinois (-1,342), Oklahoma (-1,254), and Georgia (-1,166).