Article courtesy of USA TODAY via “The Rundown”
The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week, adding to other reports that could foreshadow a better-than-expected jobs report this week.
Initial jobless benefit applications fell 23,000 to 298,000 the week ending November 30, the lowest in nearly three months. The four-week moving average, a more reliable measure that smooths out volatility, declined 10,750 to 322,250.
Economists had forecast that 321,000 Americans filed first-tjme claims last week.
Applications have dropped in seven of the past eight weeks. Jobless claims are typically a reliable measure of the labor market because they reflect the level of layoffs.
Private payroll processor ADP this week said businesses added a better-than-expected 215,000 jobs in November, the most in a year.
The consensus forecast of economists is that the Labor Department will report Friday that employers added 180,000 jobs last month.