Initial jobless claims sank by 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000 in the week ended Dec. 1, the U.S. Labor Department said today. Claims from two weeks ago were revised upward to 395,000 from an initial estimate of 393,000.
The claims data came out one day before the government reports how many new U.S. jobs were created in November.
Because of Superstorm Sanday, applications for new jobless benefits had briefly soared to an 18-month high of 451,000 in mid-November before reversing course. Thousands of people who lost jobs or were temporarily unable to work because of the storm didn't file claims immediately.
In Wisconsin, the number of initial unemployment insurance claims dipped slightly last week to 18,520 from 18,627 in the prior week.