U.S. Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Drop To Nearly Seven-Month Low
First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly saw a continued decline in the week ended September 2nd, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.
The report said initial jobless claims fell to 216,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week's revised level of 229,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 234,000 from the 228,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Jobless claims decreased for the fourth consecutive week, falling to their lowest level since a matching figure in the week ended February 11th.
The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also slipped to 229,250, a decrease of 8,500 from the previous week's revised average of 237,750.
Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment, also slid by 40,000 to 1.679 million in the week ended August 26th.
"The claims data are a reminder that labor market conditions may be cooling, but the labor market is still tight," said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.