Jobless claims dip lower than 400,000
Initial jobless claims fell about 2% last week, slipping below 400,000. The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted figure of actual initial claims for the week ended Oct. 29 decreased by 9,000 to 397,000 from 406,000 the previous week, which was revised upward 4,000. Analysts surveyed by Econoday expected 400,000 new jobless claims last week with a range of estimates between 399,000 and 410,000. Most economists believe weekly jobless claims lower than 400,000 indicate the economy is expanding and jobs growth is strengthening. The four-week moving average, which is considered a less volatile indicator than weekly claims, declined by 2,000 claims to 404,500 from the prior week's revised 406,500. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate for the week ended Oct. 22 stayed flat with the prior week at 2.9%, according to the Labor Department. The total number of people receiving some sort of federal unemployment benefits for the week ended Oct. 15 declined to about 6.78 million from 6.68 million the prior week. On Wednesday, Automatic Data Processing Inc. said nonfarm private payrolls increased by 110,000 in October on a seasonally adjusted basis. That's down from 116,000 for September, which was revised up from 91,000. On Friday, the Labor Department reports October nonfarm payroll data. Write to Jason Philyaw. Follow him on Twitter: @jrphilyaw.