Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Initial Jobless Claims Drop 4.3%

By Justin Loiseau - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:43PM

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 labor market gets a lift as the holiday season winds down.

Initial jobless claims fell 4.3% to 330,000 for the week ending Jan. 4, according to a Labor Department report released today.

After increasing a revised 1.2% the previous week, this newest report clocked in 1,000 claims below analyst expectations. 

Source: Author, data from Labor Department. 

From a more long-term perspective, a 2.7% drop in the four-week moving average to 349,000 initial claims nearly reversed the previous week's revised 2.9% rise. 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, nine states recorded a decrease of more than 1,000 initial claims for the week ending Dec. 28 (most recent available data). California's claims dropped the most (14,640), due primarily to fewer layoffs in the services sector. 

For the same period, 14 states registered increases of more than 1,000 initial claims. Michigan (plus 16,060) and Pennsylvania (plus 10,600) both recorded significant spikes as manufacturing layoffs took their toll. 

While this latest report seems to bode well for the labor market, the holiday season is infamously volatile for jobless claims. Moving into January, analysts should gain a clearer idea of how employment is faring in the current economy. The government is set to release the December jobs report tomorrow.

link

You can follow Justin Loiseau on Twitter @TMFJLo and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFJLoTry any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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.

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 analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
377%
 
S&P 500 Returns
123%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/07/2022.

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.