Initial claims for state unemployment fell 4,000 to 481,000 in the Nov. 1 week, above the 475,000 level expected, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

Seasonal factors had expected unadjusted claims to rise 4.1%, or roughly 18,400. Instead, initial unadjusted claims actually rose 14,543 to 463,932 in the Nov. 1 week. Unadjusted claims were 325,831 a year ago.

The four-week moving average for initial claims in the Nov. 1 week was unchanged at 477,000.

The Labor Department said that hurricane-related filings in Texas were no longer a factor in the data.

The previous week’s initial claims level was revised to 485,000 from the previously reported 479,000 level.

The level of continuing claims jumped 122,000 to 3.843 million in the Oct. 25 week, the highest level since the Feb. 26, 1983, week, when it was 3.876 million. The four-week moving average for continuing claims rose 43,000 to 3.754 million, the highest since the April 30, 1983, week, when it was 3.761 million.

In the Oct. 25 week, the seasonally adjusted insured employment rate rose to 2.9% from 2.8% in the previous week and up from the comparable week a year ago, when it stood at 2.0%.

The unemployment rate among the insured labor force is roughly half that reported monthly by the Labor Department because claims are approved for the most part only for job losers, not job-leavers and labor force reentrants included in the monthly report.

— Market News International

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