Jobless claims fall nearly 5% to 452,000
Initial jobless claims fell 4.8% last week to 452,000, which is roughly inline with analysts' estimates but still too high to indicate much change in the job market. The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted figure of actual initial claims for the week ended Oct. 16 decreased by 23,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 475,000 that was up sharply from the 462,000 previously reported. Analysts surveyed by Econoday were projecting claims to drop to 455,000 with a range of estimates between 430,000 and 575,000. A Briefing.com survey put the number of jobless claims at 450,000, and economists polled by MarketWatch expected 450,000, as well. The four-week moving average inched down to 458,000 claims from a revised average of 462,250, according to the Labor Department data. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was once again 3.5% unchanged from a revised 3.5%. Continuing claims declined slightly to 4.441 million from 4.45 million for the week ended Oct. 9. The four-week average of claims by people already receiving benefits fell to 4.48 million, which is the lowest level since December 2008. Write to Jason Philyaw.