Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The number of people in the U.S. filing for new unemployment benefits climbed last week but stayed to a near seven-year low, further evidence of a strengthening labor market.
In the week ended May 31, initial jobless claims — a figure that gauges the number of workers recently laid off — climbed by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, which smooths out the volatility in the weekly data, declined to 310,250, the lowest level since June 2007.
The recent weekly initial claims were worse than estimates by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal who called for the measure of jobless claims to increase to 310,000. The prior week’s figure was revised up by 4,000 to 304,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Many economists think that level of claims under 400,000 as a sign that the job market conditions are generally improving.
In the week ended May 24, the number of Americans who continue to draw jobless benefits fell by 20,000 to 2.6 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest level since October 2007. The figure is reported with a one-week lag.