(RTTNews) - The Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended October 19th.
The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 212,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week's revised level of 218,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 215,000 from the 214,000 originally reported for the previous week.
The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also edged down to 215,000, a decrease of 750 from the previous week's revised average of 215,750.
The report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also slipped by 1,000 to 1.682 million in the week ended October 12th.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims still rose to 1,677,250, an increase of 6,500 from the previous week's revised average of 1,670,750.
Next Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly employment report for October.