Initial jobless claims fell 31,000 to 473,000 for the week ended August 21, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday, August 26. The sharp drop, the second biggest decline of 2010, followed three weeks of increased unemployment claims.
The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, stood at 486,750, an increase of 3,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 483,500, according to the Labor Department’s report. The average is at its worst since November 2009.
Analyst consensus was for a smaller drop in claims, somewhere in between 490,000 and 500,000, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.