While the 18% drop is the largest decrease in initial claims since August 1992, it is slightly shy of economists’ expectations.
The 4-week moving average, which most economists view as a better measure of the unemployment picture because it smoothes out weekly volatility, fell by 12,000, to reach 450,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 462,000.
The number of those continuing to claim unemployment
benefits increased by 36,000 for the week ending December
1, bringing the number of those remaining unemployed to 3.7
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