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Initial Jobless Claims Post Fourth Straight Weekly Drop

With a decline of 29K claims in the latest week, initial jobless claims have now declined for four straight weeks, erasing all of the increase seen since Hurricane Sandy.  At a level of 343K, jobless claims are now at their lowest level since October 5th.  Furthermore, with a decline of 108K over the last four weeks, jobless claims have now more than erased the 90K spike we saw in the aftermath of Sandy.

As a result of this week's large decline in jobless claims, the four-week moving average declined by 27K, which was the largest one-week decline in this measure since August 1992.  In spite of the large decline, though, the four-week moving average remains 18.5K above its post-recession low of 363K.  It has now been 37 weeks since the four-week moving average made its last low.

 On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, jobless claims declined from 500.9K down to 428.8K.  For the current week, this is the lowest level since 2007, and it's below the average for the current week going back to 2000 (464.1K).

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