In the week ending Oct. 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 531,000, an increase of 11,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 520,000. The 4-week moving average was 532,250, a decrease of 750 from the previous week's revised average of 533,000.
Weekly data fluctuate a lot even after seasonal adjustments. To smooth out fluctuations, 4-week moving average is used for analysis. The 4-week moving average has been trending down since early 2009. [Click on the diagram to enlarge it]
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