Initial Jobless Claims Drop 3.1% to 4-Month Low

Longer-term trend points to continued improvement.

Mar 27, 2014 at 11:55AM

Initial jobless claims fell 3.1% to 311,000 for the week ending March 22, according to a Labor Department report released today.

After edging up a revised 1.9% the previous week, analysts were pleasantly surprised by this latest report, having predicted 323,000 new claims. This is the lowest reading in four months.


Source: Author, data from Labor Department. 

From a more long-term perspective, a 2.9% drop in the four-week moving average to 317,750 initial claims marks the fourth straight decline and a new six-month low. Both the latest week's claims and the four-week average fall significantly below 400,000, a cutoff point that economists consider a sign of an improving labor market.

On a state-by-state basis, seven states recorded a decrease of more than 1,000 initial claims for the week ending March 15 (most recent available data). Pennsylvania (-3,170) and Illinois (-2,320) saw the largest improvements, due primarily to fewer construction and administrative services layoffs. 

For the same period, only California and Nebraska registered increases of more than 1,000 initial claims. California saw a 3,190-new-claim increase due mostly to service and retail layoffs, while Nebraska provided no comment for its 1,050 bump. 


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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

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KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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