People seeking work filed 245,000 initial claims for state unemployment benefits during the week ended December 23rd, according to a report filed Thursday by the Labor Department.
The 245,000 claims were slightly higher than the consensus estimate of 240,000, as 15 states’ figures were estimated due to the timing of the holidays. Furthermore, claim processing in hurricane-affected areas, such as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, is still considered in a disruptive state, affecting counts. Though the estimates provide some ambiguity, readings earlier in December suggest a strong labor market and a favorable monthly report.
The four-week moving average inched up to 237,500 from last week’s 236,000 average.