Jobless Claims 4-Week Moving Average Highest in Decade

October 11, 2001( - There were fewer Americans filling out initial unemployment benefit claim forms this week due to seasonal factors, according to the Department of Labor (DoL).

The number fell by 67,000 to 468,000 in the week ending October 6. The numbers reflect the sporadic nature of benefits collections in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. This, coupled with the rollover to a new quarter added to the seasonal anomalies affecting claims this week, officials at the DoL explained.

The decline followed an increase of 79,000 last week and a 63,000 gain the week before that ? increases that boosted claims to record highs.

The four-week moving average, which analysts regard as a more reliable measure of unemployment because it smoothes out weekly fluctuations, increased to 463,000 from 455,000, the highest level since the US was mired in a recession almost a decade ago