Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Applications for initial unemployment benefits in the U.S. dropped last week and stayed near pre- recession levels, signaling continues improvement in the labor market.
In the week ended May 24, the number of workers who filed for first-time jobless claims fell by 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 300,000, according to the Labor Department report released Thursday. The estimate of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal is a decline to 319,000 from the previous week. First-time claims for the week ended May 17 were revised up to 327,000.
The four-week moving average, which evens out weekly volatility, dropped by 11,250 last week to 311,500. The figure marks the lowest level for the measure since August 2007.
Claims that fall below 400,000 is a sign of improvement in the labor market, according to many economists.
The number of Americans drawing continuing unemployment benefits — reported with a one-week lag — fell by 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2,631,000 in the May 17 week, the lowest level since November 2007.