The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits is at a two-month low, data released by the Labor Department this morning shows. From the report:
In the week ending November 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 323,000, a decrease of 21,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 344,000. The 4-week moving average was 338,500, a decrease of 6,750 from the previous week's revised average of 345,250.
Reuters writes that the new data suggests "some strengthening of labor market conditions". However, "while layoffs have slowed significantly to normal levels, there has not been a rapid acceleration in hiring as domestic demand remains lukewarm".
Reuters charts jobless claims, as well as average unemployment duration, and the labor market participation rate: