A day ahead of the release of the closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday unexpectedly showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended December 2nd.
Initial jobless claims dipped last week alongside a moderate drop in those filed for a second time, a positive signal for the pace of job growth.
Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the USA, fell by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 236,000 in the week ended December 2, the Labor Department said Thursday.
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The number of people receiving aid fell by 52,000 to 1.91 million, remaining near a four-decade low set last month.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, which aims to smoothe out the volatility in the data from one week to the next, fell by 750 to 241,500.
The Labor Department noted claims taking procedures continue to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands, while the claims taking process in Puerto Rico has still not returned to normal. The government will release the November unemployment figure on Friday and private economists believe that figure will show unemployment remaining at 4.1 percent.
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