First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell last week by 16,000 to 414,000, the Department of Labor announced today. But the four-week moving average remained steady at 424,750.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted a slightly smaller drop; the news shows that layoffs may again be slowing.
The number of people receiving continuing payments and extended benefits both decreased in the week ended May 28, the most recent week data are available. That week, a total of 7.4 million Americans were receiving unemployment checks, down 200,000 from the prior week and 2.2 million from the prior year.