Initial claims for state unemployment fell back 21,000 to 509,000 in the Nov. 29 week, with no real special factors or anything unexpected occurring, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

Data was close to what could be anticipated by seasonal factors, according to a Labor analyst. Seasonal factors had been expected to cause unadjusted claims to decrease 9.3%, or 57,000, for the Nov. 29 week, and they actually fell 13.0%, or 78,974, to a level of 529,941, the analyst said. While this was a larger drop in volume than expected, he added, it was nothing out of the ordinary.

Expectations in a Market News International survey had centered on 527,000 seasonally adjusted initial claims in the week ended Nov. 29, ranging from 525,000 to 540,000.

The revision to the Nov. 22 week was mild, as claims are now reported up 1,000 to 530,000 from that period compared with an initial estimate of 529,000. That’s a drop of 13,000 from the 16-year high of 543,000 reported in the Nov. 15 week.

The four-week moving average for initial claims in the Nov. 29 week rose 6,250 to 524,500, the highest level since the Dec. 18, 1982, week, when the average was 554,500.

After falling below the four million mark in the week ended Nov. 22, the level of continuing claims moved above that threshold once again, rising by 89,000 to 4.087 million in the Nov. 29 week. The last time continuing claims were this high was Dec. 25 1982, when it hit 4.381 million.

— Market News International

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