First-time unemployment claims by newly laid-off workers fell 14,000 to 460,000 last week, even as the four-week average of claims rose by 2250 to 456,500.
Analysts had expected the number would fall further, to 455,000.
For the week of May 16, 49000 workers stopped receiving regular unemployment benefits. The week of May 8, 41000 workers stopped receiving extended benefits. The government doesn’t track why these workers stopped receiving benefits: either because they expired or because the worker found a new job.
That still leaves nearly 10 million unemployed workers on the unemployment rolls, and unemployment is still at 9.9 percent, though analysts predict that in next week’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate for May will have dropped to 9.8 percent.