Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The number of Americans seeking first-time unemployment benefits dropped last week, which erased the increase in the previous week and a signal that the labor market is slowly improving.
In the week ended June 22, jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 346,000 compared to a revised 355,000 in the previous period, according to the Labor Department report released today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast claims to be at 345,000.
The revised figures show claims rose by 19,000 to 355,000 for the week ended June 15. In late April, jobless claims reached its lowest level in five years.
A Labor Department spokesman said during the release of the figures that there was nothing unusual in the data and there were no estimates for the states.
The four-week moving average, which smoothens the volatility of the weekly figures, fell to 345,750 last week from the previous week’s 348,500. In the week ended June 15, the number of people who continue to get jobless benefits was slightly changed at 2.97 million.
Fed Chairman Bernanke said unemployment rate is likely to fall 7.0 per cent by the time the Fed ends its monetary-easing measures. Unemployment rate stood at 7.6 per cent in May. Since 2009, unemployment rate has steadily fallen, but has remained at around the same pace for three consecutive months.
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