Jobless claims fall again, but labor market still lags

The number of claims for unemployment insurance edged down again last week, but the overall labor market remained weak, according to economic research firm Econoday.

Initial jobless claims fell by 8,000 filings from the previous week to 355,000 filings for the week ending Nov. 3, according to the U.S. Labor Department. That number is down from the previous week’s revised figure of 363,000 claims.

But the four-week moving average rose by more than 3,000 claims to 370,500 filings, suggesting the jobless rate overall is still a cause for concern.

“Jobless claims improved in the Nov. 3 week but are still not signaling much strength in the labor market,” Econoday said of the report. “Initial claims fell 8,000 to 355,000 but the trend is still upward with the four-week average up 3,250 to 370,500 which is slightly above, not below, levels a month ago.”

Econoday says Hurricane Sandy, to date, has “had little impact on the latest data but is very likely to have a significant impact in the next week’s report.”

As of Oct. 20, the nation had 5.1 million Americans claiming jobless benefits, which is up by 41,864 filings from the previous week on record.

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