The number of first-time benefits claimants dipped to 499,000, a decrease of 10,000 on the previous week’s revised figure of 509,000, according to data just released by the US Department of Labor.
The more closely-watched four-week moving average, viewed by economists as more reliable barometer of joblessness, fell by 9,000 to 497,250, while continued claims increased by 55,000 to 3.69 million- their highest level since May 1983
The state where the unemployment picture seemed brightest this week was Missouri, with 5,141 fewer layoffs, primarily in the transportation industry.
In contrast, the number of layoffs increased in Michigan increased by 1,207- these were felt hardest in the automobile industry.
The release comes ahead of tomorrow’s monthly unemployment report.