Automobile industry layoffs in Michigan added 15,513 first-time unemployment insurance claimants to the national rolls last week. But the overall number of initial claims came down, a result in part of fewer manufacturing industry claims in North Carolina, Georgia, Minnesota, South Carolina and Tennessee.
For the week ending Sept. 30, initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 302,000, a decrease of 17,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 319,000 claims, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Oct. 5. The department's four-week moving average of first-time claims, generally considered a better indicator of underlying labor market conditions because it smooths out week-to-week changes, also fell last week. The four-week average was 313,500, a decline of 2,750 claims from the previous week's revised average of 316,250.