Initial claims for unemployment fell 6.3% in the week ended Dec. 1, data released today by the Department of Labor show. Seasonally adjusted initial claims decreased by 25,000 from the previous week as 370,000 persons filed for benefits. The four-week moving average was 408,000, representing a 0.6% increase from the previous week's revised average.
The numbers reflect the waning effects of Superstorm Sandy, with states in the Northeast reporting fewer layoffs. New Jersey's initial claims number dropped 24,000, with a 6,700 decrease in New York and a 1,200 decrease in Connecticut.
The number of initial claims for the week ending Dec. 1 was 3.4% lower than that reported at the same time last year. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5% for the week ending Nov.24, which is the most recent date for which this information is available. This reflects a 0.1-percentage-point decrease from the previous week's unrevised number. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured employment was 3.2 million, a decrease from the prior week's revised count of 3.3 million.