WASHINGTON — Initial jobless claims edged up by 2,000 new filings to 439,000 the week ending Nov. 13, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Continuing claims fell for the fourth straight week, dropping to a one-year low of 4.295 million. Economists expected 440,000 initial jobless claims and 4.3 million continuing jobless claims.
Initial claims for the week ending Nov. 6 were revised downward by 2,000 filings to 437,000. Continuing claims for the week ending Oct. 30 were revised upward to 4.343 million from 4.301 million.
Initial jobless claims have averaged 357,500 a week the past 10 years.
Economists track new unemployment claims for insight into job creation. Initial claims of 400,000 to 425,000 a week are consistent with creation of the 115,000 to 125,000 jobs the U.S. economy needs each month to accommodate new workforce entries, according to Anthony Chan, chief economist for JPMorgan Private Wealth Management.
“The level of claims still suggests that layoffs remain relatively elevated,” Steve Wood, chief economist at Insight Economics, said of the 439,000 new filings. “Total claims have been on a declining trend since the beginning of the year. There is increasing evidence that while the trend pace of layoffs has slowed, there has been only a modest acceleration in hiring.”