WASHINGTON-Last week, the number of Americans claiming new unemployment benefits fell, indicating continued health in the labor market.
Initial jobless claims, a substitute for layoffs in the US The US decreased by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted figure of 222,000 in the week ended June 2, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected 220,000 new claims last week.
Data may be volatile from week to week, especially during vacations, when seasonal adjustments are sometimes difficult; Last Monday was Memorial Day. The moving average of four weeks of claims, a more stable measure, increased to 225,500 last week.
Unemployment benefits applications have remained low for years, a sign that relatively few Americans are being laid off and seeking badistance in a buoyant labor market in the United States.
The unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in May, the lowest since April 2000, the Labor Department reported last week. Non-agricultural employers in the United States added 223,000 jobs last month, extending the longest continuous employment expansion in record to 92 months.
Thursday's report showed that the number of claims made for more than a week increased by 21,000 to 1,741,000 in the week ended May 26. That figure, known as continuous claims, is reported with a delay of one week.