According to the DoL data for the week ending November 23, initial jobless claims fell 17,000 to 364,000 from a revised 381,000 for the previous week. The DoL said that was the lowest the much-watched indicator has been since it stood at 355,000 for the February 17, 2001 week.
The claims figure was also way below the 382,000 predicted by economists in a weekly Reuters survey.
The four-week moving average – considered a significant measure because it smoothes out short-term volatility – fell 11,250 from a revised 397,000
However, DoL officials cautioned that jobless claims are typically more volatile during the holiday season and that one week’s claims performance should not be taken as a sure sign of an economic recovery.
For the week ending November 16, claims dropped by 25,000 to 376,000. (See Jobless Claims Continue Dropping ).