U.S. Jobless Claims Dropped More than Expected Last Week

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U.S. Jobless Claims Dropped More than Expected Last WeekThe number of Americans who made new claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week, indicating the job market is improving.

Jobless claims declined by 8,000 to 287,000 in the period through Sept. 27, reported the Labor Department on Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected the figure to drop to 297,000. The number of individuals already collecting the benefits fell to its lowest level in eight years.

“The low level of layoffs indicates demand for workers is solid,” noted Guy Berger, Stamford, Connecticut-based U.S. economist at RBS Securities Inc. “The economy in incrementally improving and employers want to hold on to workers and potentially add more.”

The four-week moving average for fresh unemployment benefits applications, which smoothes out volatility, dropped to 294,750 in the week through Sept. 27, down from 299,000 the prior week.

The number of persons still receiving unemployment benefits fell by 45,000 to 2.4 million in the week to Sept. 20, its lowest level since June 2006. The jobless rate among individuals who qualify for the benefits stood at 1.8 percent.

Fresh unemployment claims are an indicator of weekly layoffs and normally reduce before job growth surges.

A survey published Wednesday by the ADP Research Institute showed that private businesses employed 213,000 workers last month. The market is awaiting a report by the Labor Department tomorrow that is expected to show that U.S. payrolls surged by 215,000 last month, up from 142,000 in August. Economists also project the unemployment rate will remain steady at 6.1 percent. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com