Jobless Claims Decline to 326,000

A job listing board hangs at the East Bay Career Center February 2, 2006 in Oakland, California. According to a government report, U.S. unemployment benefits claims dropped to about 273,000 last week, sending a four-week average of claims to the lowest level in nearly six years. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty …
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dipped to 326,000 in the week ended October 2, a decline of 38,000 from the previous week, the Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The number of Americans submitting jobless claims is falling as the enhanced federal unemployment benefits are starting to wind down. The Labor Department noted that extended benefits were only available in four states during the week ending on September 18: Alaska, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New Mexico.

The previous week’s level was up by 2,000 from 362,000 to 364,000. The 4-week moving average was 344,000, an increase of 3,500 from the last week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised by 500 from 340,000 to 340,500, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The weekly total was the lowest level since the week of September 4, when the number of new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to 310,000.

CNBC noted the continuing claims run a week behind. The total is attributed to Americans who file for at least two weeks of benefits, also a decline to 2.71 million, dropping 97,000.

The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs showed a decrease of 854,638 from the previous week. There are now 4,172,943 Americans receiving the benefits for the week ending September 18.

Compared to the over five million Americans that received the benefits the previous week and the 24,609,335 weekly claims filed for benefits during the same week last year.

“California accounted for a big chunk of the drop in initial claims, with a decrease of 10,513, according to unadjusted numbers. The District of Columbia saw a decline of 3,951 and Texas was down 3,099,” CNBC added.

Follow Jacob Bliss on Twitter @jacobmbliss.

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