Seasonally adjusted initial claims for U.S. unemployment benefits for the week ended Dec. 28, 2019, slipped to 222,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised level of 224,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported.
The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for jobless claims to come in unchanged from last week's unrevised level of 222,000.
The four-week moving average rose to 233,250 from an upwardly revised 228,500 in the prior week, reaching the highest level since January 2018.
In the week ended Dec. 21, the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate, which measures the proportion of the labor force receiving unemployment benefits, remained unchanged at 1.2%. Insured unemployment rose to 1,728,000, from the preceding week's upwardly revised level of 1,723,000.