A day ahead of the release the more closely watched monthly employment report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended September 1st.
The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 203,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 213,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 214,000.
With the unexpected decrease, jobless claims dropped to their lowest level since hitting 202,000 in December of 1969.
The less volatile four-week moving average also hit its lowest level since December of 1969, slipping by 2,750 to 209,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 212,250.
Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also edged down by 3,000 to 1.707 million in the week ended August 25th.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims dropped by 13,250 to 1,718,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 1,731,750, hitting its lowest level since December of 1973.
On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched report on the employment situation in the month of August.
The report is expected to show employment increased by about 191,000 jobs in August after rising by 157,000 jobs in July. The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 3.8 percent from 3.9 percent.