Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week unexpectedly fell, remaining in territory consistent with a strengthening labor market, official data showed on Thursday.
The number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending Dec. 1 fell by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 236,000 from the previous week’s total of 238,000, the Department of Labor said.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise to 240,000 last week.
The four-week moving average was 241,500, down 750 from the previous week. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.
Continuing jobless claims declined to 1.908 million from 1.960 million in the preceding week, in line with forecasts.
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