Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 2,000
to a seasonally adjusted 244,000 for the week ended June 24, the
Labor Department said on Thursday.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time
applications for jobless claims declining to 240,000 in the
Jobless claims for the prior week were revised up to 242,000
from 241,000. It was the 121st consecutive week that claims have
been below 300,000, the threshold associated with a strong labor
The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better
measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week
volatility, fell 2,750 to 242,250 last week.
The unemployment rate in May declined to a 16-year low of 4.3
percent. A Labor Department official said there were no special
factors influencing the claims data. Only claims for Louisiana
Thursday's claims report also showed the number of people still
receiving benefits after an initial week of aid increased 6,000
to 1.95 million in the week ended June 17.
The so-called continuing claims have now been below 2 million
for 11 straight weeks, indicating diminishing labor market
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.