Jobless Claims Soar Unexpectedly

By John S. McClenahen Initial claims for unemployment insurance soared unexpectedly last week to 350,000, some 20,000 higher than the previous week's revised figure of 330,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Oct. 28. Economists generally had anticipated a more modest increase to 335,000. However, the department's four-week moving average for initial claims declined last week, falling by 5,500 claims to 343,250. Many economists believe the four-week moving average, which smoothes out week-to-week changes, is a better indicator of the labor markets underlying condition.

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