Jobless Claims Lower, Matching Forecasts

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits dipped to 334,000 last week, the government said on Thursday, matching economists' forecasts.

Initial claims for jobless aid fell 3,000 in the week ended Nov. 13 from a revised 337,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said. Wall Street (search) economists had expected 334,000 claims after the initially reported 333,000 for the week ended Nov. 6.

A department analyst said the federal government's closure in observance of the Veterans Day holiday during the week had no impact on the data.

The four-week moving average of new claims, considered a more reliable indicator because it smooths weekly volatility, rose to 338,250 from 337,250 in the previous week.

The number of unemployed who remained on the benefit rolls after claiming an initial week of aid fell 16,000 to 2.79 million in the week ended Nov. 6, the latest period for which data are available.