In the week ending the 6th of October, US initial jobless claims dropped sharply, to the lowest in more than 4.5 years. Initial claims fell by 30 000, from an upwardly revised 369 000 to 339 000. Such a sharp drop in one week is really exceptional and also the Labour Department seems puzzled by this sharp decline. The Labour Department said one state accounted for most of the claims drop and added unadjusted claims normally surge in the 1st week of the quarter. The seasonal adjustment factor for the start of the quarter anticipates a rise in claims because claimants have an incentive to wait for the new quarter to file. As there is not one clear explanation for this move, it will be interesting to see whether it will be confirmed by next week’s data or whether the plunge will be (partly) undone. The less volatile four-week moving average dropped significantly too, from 375 500 to 364 000. Continuing claims, which are reported with an extra week lag, came out slightly lower than forecast. In the week ending the 29th of September, continuing claims fell from an upwardly revised 3 288 000 to 3 273 000.