WASHINGTON (11/7/14)--New jobless claims dropped by 10,000 to 278,000 for the week ending Nov. 1, according to the Labor Department Thursday, pushing the four-week moving average down to a 14-year low (MarketWatch Nov. 6).
The four-week moving average, which helps smooth out volatility in the weekly reports, fell by 2,250 claims to 279,000.
"Initial claims have now been below the 300,000 mark for eight weeks straight, beating out the previous streak of seven weeks in early 2006," according to Marisa Di Natale, Moody's analyst (Economy.com Nov. 6). "This makes the current run the longest since the 17-week stretch in late 1999."
The states to post the largest increases in claims were Ohio, California and New York. The states with the largest declines were Michigan, Texas and Indiana.
There are about two unemployed people for every job opening in the United States--the same level seen at the start of the recession, according to Moody's.
At its worst point, the ratio rose as high as 7-to-1 in 2009.
Continuing claims, or those to apply for unemployment insurance for at least the second straight week, fell for the week ending Oct. 25 by 39,000 to 2.35 million.
Analysts also expect positive news for the labor market today when the government releases October's employment report. MarketWatch analysis projects that the U.S. economy added about 243,000 jobs for the month.