Fewer Americans file for unemployment benefits

  @CNNMoney October 25, 2012: 8:50 AM ET
initial claims 102512

Job seekers pick up applications at a career fair in Los Angeles.


First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, but the broader trend remains choppy, making it difficult to get a clear reading on the job market in October.

About 369,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ended October 20, down 23,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Obama's economy: A snapshot
A look at where the economy stood when Obama took office and what's changed since.

The initial claims number has bounced around for the last five weeks, pointing to little improvement in the job market since September.

The four-week moving average, which smooths out some of the volatility, has risen for the last two weeks but overall, the story there has largely remained the same since July. Initial claims are stuck in a range that seems to point to job growth around 150,000 each month -- just enough to keep up with population growth, but not strong enough to point to robust improvement in the economy.

Related: Check the unemployment rate in your state

About 3.3 million Americans continued to file for their second week of unemployment benefits in the week ended October 13, the most recent data available. To top of page

Join the Conversation
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.41%4.44%
15 yr fixed3.33%3.31%
5/1 ARM3.34%3.55%
30 yr refi4.39%4.41%
15 yr refi3.31%3.30%
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
CNNMoney Sponsors
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.