The US Department of Labor (DoL) said the claims total for the week ending August 16 dropped 17,000 to 386,000 from a revised 403,000.
The moving four-week claims average – widely followed because it irons out short-term volatility – dropped 1,250 to 394,250 from 395,500 in the prior week. It was below the key 400,000 mark – considered a dividing line between a healthy employment picture and a stagnant one – for the third week in a row.
Once again, the latest claims total was below analysts’ predictions from Reuters’ weekly poll for a total of 395,000 claims. For the week ending August 9, the DoL reported that the claims total was up slightly (See Jobless Claim Totals Uptick – But Only By a Sliver ).