Weekly jobless claims down 1.25% to 472,000
The number of people filing for unemployment benefits fell for the second week in a row with a drop of about 1.25% from a week earlier. The Department of Labor said Thursday seasonally-adjusted initial claims fell to 472,000 for the week ended Aug. 28, down from an upwardly revised 478,000 for the previous week. The consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Briefing.com expected claims to drop to 475,000 last week. The four-week moving average, largely seen as a more stable indicator of employment trends, fell by 2,500 to 485,500 claims, down less than 1% from the prior week's revised average of 488,000. Since the middle of November, initial jobless claims have ranged between 450,000 and 500,000, with minimal payroll growth. Most economists tend to see weekly claims north of 500,000 as a recessionary indicator. Continuing claims dropped to about 4.46 million -- in line with the consensus estimate from Briefing.com -- for the week ended Aug. 21 from 4.48 million the week ended Aug. 14, pushing the four-week moving average down 28,500 to 4.49 million. More than 7 million jobs were lost during the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, and the nation's jobless rate remains stubbornly high amid a tepid economic recovery. Write to Jason Philyaw.