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First time unemployment filings fall to lowest point in past month

A man looks at a hiring sign reading 'Join our team' displayed on a Chipotle restaurant window in a strip mall in Los Angeles, California on May 11, 2022. The Labor Department said on Thursday that workers filing for unemployment claims for the first time dropped to its lowest level in a month. File Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE
A man looks at a hiring sign reading 'Join our team' displayed on a Chipotle restaurant window in a strip mall in Los Angeles, California on May 11, 2022. The Labor Department said on Thursday that workers filing for unemployment claims for the first time dropped to its lowest level in a month. File Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE

Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Workers filing for the first time for unemployment benefits reached a seasonally adjusted 228,000 last week, down 4,000 from the previous week and the lowest total in a month, according to new statistics from the Labor Department released Thursday.

The department's Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report said the new total dipped below the revised total of 232,000 from the previous week. The number of people filing for unemployment insurance is one gauge used to view the country's employment stability.

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Those filing for first-time unemployment benefits had reached a 2023 high of 265,000 for the week ending June 17. The total dipped as low as 221,000 for the week ending July 22 before rising again. The weekly filing count had been as low as 194,000 in January.

The new first-time filing total marked the third consecutive week the total decreased and the sixth time it dropped over the past eight weeks.

The four-week moving average for those filing for unemployment insurance for the first time increased 500 applicants from last week to 237,500.

The Labor Department reported that the overall number of those applying for unemployment benefits for the week ending Aug. 19 reached 1.725 million, an increase of 28,000 from the previous week's revised level.

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The previous week's level was revised down by 5,000 to 1,697,000 from 1,702,000. The four-week moving average for those filing for unemployment benefits was 1,704,250, an increase of 8,250 from the previous week's revised average.

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