The US unemployment claims hit the lowest level in three weeks as Americans turned up in low numbers for filing new applications to claim their jobless benefits, according to a government report released on Thursday.
The report prepared by the US Labor Department showed that initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 3,000 to 294,000 in the week that ended on December 6.
Several economists had expected initial jobless claims to decline slightly to 296,000 from 297,000 in the previous week.
The weekly initial unemployment claims hit a recent deep of 266,000 in the month of October, the lowest tally since 2000.
The average of new unemployment claims over the past month grew by 250 to 299,250. The economists took into consideration the four-week averages for the identification of proper job trends, rather than looking at weekly volatility.
Jim O’Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics, said, “The change is still fairly modest given normal volatility, especially at this time of year. Nor is there any sign of a sustained uptrend in new claims.”
According to the economists, the Thursday’s data gave clear indications about the movement of labor market in the right direction.
The government also reported that the continuing claims rose by 142,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2.51 million in the week that ended on November 29.
The continuing claims represent the number of people already receiving the unemployment benefits. The four-week average of continuing claims increased by 27,750 to 2.39 million.