Filings for unemployment benefits plunged last week to the lowest level since 1973 as workers affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma continued to return to their jobs, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.
Highlights of Jobless Claims (Week ended Oct. 14)
- Jobless claims decreased by 22k to 222k (est. 240k), the lowest since March 1973
- Period included Columbus Day holiday, giving people one less day to file claims
- Continuing claims fell by 16k to 1.89m in week ended Oct. 7 (data reported with one-week lag)
- Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, dropped to 248,250 from 257,750
The larger-than-projected decrease in claims probably reflected difficulty adjusting for the Columbus Day holiday. At the same time, the report showed further declines in claims in hurricane- affected states. The storms initially led to a spike in applications in Texas and the southeastern U.S. in late August and early September.