The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell far more than expected to 216,000 for the week ending January 5, crushing the consensus forecast at 224,000.
The forecasts ranged from 215,000 to 229,000.
The 4-week moving average was 221,750, an increase of 2,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 500 from 218,750 to 219,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was unchanged at a very low 1.2% for the week ending December 29. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending December 29 was 1,722,000, a decrease of 28,000.
The 4-week moving average was 1,721,250, an increase of 15,250 from the previous week’s revised average.
No state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending December 22.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending December 22 were in Alaska (3.3), Connecticut (2.2), New Jersey (2.2), Montana (2.0), Illinois (1.9), Massachusetts (1.9), Minnesota (1.9), Pennsylvania (1.9), California (1.8), Puerto Rico (1.8), Rhode Island (1.8), and Washington (1.8).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending December 29 were in Michigan (+7,997), New Jersey (+7,845), Pennsylvania (+7,367), Connecticut (+5,472), and Ohio (+4,835), while the largest decreases were in California (-10,107), Texas (-4,804), North Carolina (-1,667), Florida (-1,315), and Arizona (-970).
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