Jobless claims down 7.7% to lowest level in two years
Initial jobless claims fell 7.7% last week to 407,000, which is the lowest level in two years and well below most analyst estimates. The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted figure of actual initial claims for the week ended Nov. 20 fell by 34,000 from the previous week's figure of 441,000, which was revised upward a few thousand. Analysts surveyed by Econoday expected claims to dip to 435,000 with a range of estimates from 420,000 to 445,000. A Briefing.com survey put the number of jobless claims at 440,000, and economists polled by MarketWatch expected 435,000 new claims. The four-week moving average declined by 7,500 to 436,000 claims from a downwardly revised average of 443,5o0, according to the Labor Department data. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate slid to 3.3%, down slightly from a revised 3.4%. Write to Jason Philyaw.