The Labor Department reported initial jobless claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 204,000 for the week ending September 7, far more than expected. The 4-week moving average fell to 212,500, a decline of 4,250 from the revised average.
Forecasts ranged from a low of 208,000 to a high of 216,000. The consensus forecast was looking for a dip to only 215,000, still a very low number indicating the labor market remains tight.
In lagging data, the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was unchanged at a very low 1.2% for the week ending August 31.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment fell by 4,000 during the week ending August 31 to 1,670,000. The 4-week moving average fell 14,500 to 1,680,250.
The Labor Department also said no state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending August 24.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending August 24 were in New Jersey (2.4), Connecticut (2.1), Puerto Rico (2.0), Pennsylvania (1.9), Rhode Island (1.8), California (1.7), Massachusetts (1.6), Alaska (1.5), New York (1.5), Illinois (1.4), and the Virgin Islands (1.4).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending August 31 were in Illinois (+3,728), Kansas (+983), Wisconsin (+597), Michigan (+562), and Texas (+429), while the largest decreases were in New York (-1,424), Florida (-659), New Jersey (-643), Iowa (-330), and Connecticut (-317).