Jobless Claims Continue to Fall as Labor Demand Exceeds Hurricane Impacts

US jobs

US jobs

The four-week moving average was 257,500, a decrease of 9,500 from the previous week's revised average, while the previous week's average was revised down by 1,250 from 268,250 to 267,000.

While the Labor Department said the week's claims were impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Bloomberg reported the number of filings for jobless benefits is consistent with a robust labor market.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending September 30 were in NY (+3,425), OH (+2,567), Missouri (+2,051), the Virgin Islands (+986), and Oklahoma (+510), while the largest decreases were in Florida (-3,575), MI (-3,485), Texas (-3,041), Kansas (-2,432), and Georgia (-1,987).

Claims have been in the 250,000 range most of the year, but spiked temporarily to almost 300,000 due to job dislocations created by the hurricanes.

The number of claims workers made for longer than a week dropped to 1,889,000 in the week ended September 30, the lowest level for continuing claims since December 1973.

The unemployment rate dipped to 4.2% in September, a level not seen since early 2001, despite USA nonfarm employers shedding jobs for the first time since September 2010.

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