NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The number of Americans filing unemployment claims for the first time showed a surprise drop last week according to a labor department report released early Thursday.
The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims fell by 21,000 to 434,000 in the week ended Oct. 23, from the previous week's upwardly revised estimate of 455,000. Analysts were expecting initial claims to rise by 6,000 to 458,000, according to consensus estimates from Briefing.com.
The number of people filing continuing claims -- those who have been receiving unemployment insurance for at least a week -- also came in lower than expected at 4.356 million for the week ended Oct. 16, a decrease of 122,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 4.478 million. Consensus estimates projected continuing claims to drop to 4.428 million.