Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Labor Department Releases Weekly Jobless Claims

By John Divine - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:55PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The downward trend in jobless claims continues, but with little haste

Thursday's data from the Department of Labor continue to paint a picture of a slowly recovering employment landscape. Seasonally adjusted claims for the week ended April 20 fell to 339,000, 16,000 fewer than the week prior, a 4.5% drop.

While week-to-week comparisons can be useful when trying to wrap your mind around the bigger picture, four-week moving averages are even more revealing.

Not only is the 339,000 figure from April 20 below the 357,500 four-week moving average, that moving average itself is more than 5% below what it was just a year ago, when the four-week moving average stood at 378,500 .

While these data show a labor market moving in the right direction, the steady improvement doesn't mean declines in unemployment claims are spread more or less evenly throughout the nation. For example, New York reported 14,113 fewer initial claims in the week ended April 13, as "fewer layoffs in the transportation, educational services, and food service industries" helped to keep people off unemployment benefits. However, that same week, California reported a 24,303 increase in claims, as the state cited "layoffs in the service industry," as the main reason.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
330%
 
S&P 500 Returns
115%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/23/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.