The four-week moving average, a more balanced barometer of the employment situation fell to 370,750, down 9,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 380,000. This is the fourth consecutive week that the figure has fallen.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending August 4 were in California, where claims increased by 5,820, following a surge of layoffs in the construction, trade, service and electronics industries.
Claims were also up in North Carolina, by 2,868 where layoffs continued in the furniture industry, and Kentucky, where 1,122 more of the unemployed claimed benefits for the first time following job cutbacks in the fabricated metal, electrical equipment and other manufacturing industries
In contrast, the largest decreases were in Georgia, where claims fell by 2,100, after layoffs moderated in the trade and manufacturing industries. Claims were also down by 1,375 in Illinois, where the pace of cutbacks in the construction, service and manufacturing industries slowed and in Alabama, where claims moderated by 1,356, following an easing of layoffs in the apparel and electrical machinery industries.
In a separate report, the government released the latest Consumer Price Index numbers, which shows US CPI falling by 0.3%, slightly more than the market’s anticipated 0.1%, its first decline since April last year.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the number to remain level.