Initial Claims Fall More Than Expected

Initial Claims Dropped 23,000 in the week ended Oct.16, but the magnitude of the drop was exaggerated by an upward revision in the previous week's estimate.
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) -- The number of Americans filing unemployment claims for the first time fell more than expected last week according to a labor department report released early Thursday.

Initial weekly claims fell by 23,000 to 452,000 in the week ended Oct. 16, from the previous week. But the magnitude of the drop was exaggerated by the Labor Department's upward revision of the previous week's figure to 475,000 from 462,000. Still, analysts were expecting initial claims to drop by 7,000 to 452,000, according to consensus estimates from


The number of people filing continuing claims -- those who have been receiving unemployment insurance for at least a week -- came in at a higher than expected 4.44 million for the week ended Oct.9 , a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 4.45 million. Consensus estimates that projected continuing claims at 4.4 million.


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The 4-week moving average in initial claims, which smoothes the volatility in week-to-week reports, was 458,000, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week's revised average of 462,25050. The 4-week moving average in continuing claims was 4.478 million, a decrease of 23,250 from the preceding week's average of 4.501 million.

-- Written by Shanthi Venkataraman in New York.

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