The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, pointing to a strengthening labor market.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 294,000 for the week ended Dec. 6, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week’s data was unrevised.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 295,000 last week.
The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, ticked up by 250 to 299,250, holding below the 300,000 mark for the 13th straight month