Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell last week and stayed near pre- recession lows, evidence that the labor market is steadily improving.
In the week ended June 14, first-time claims for jobless benefits dropped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000, according to the Labor Department report released Thursday. The figure is in line with forecasts by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.
The four-week moving average, which smooths out the volatility in the weekly data, dropped by 3,750 to 311,750. No special factors were observed that affected last week’s data, the Labor Department said.
The report showed the number of workers who continue to draw unemployment benefits — reported with a one-week lag — was 2.56 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, a decline of 54,000 from the June 7 week.
Steadily declining claims for jobless benefits typically coincide with higher hiring activity by employers.
Nonfarm payrolls climbed by 217,000 jobs in May. In a separate report by the Labor Department released earlier this month, the unemployment rate fell 6.3 percent.