Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits for the first time slightly dropped last week, a reflection of the labor market’s slow but steady improvement.
The four-week average of new claims, which smoothens the volatile weekly data, fell by 750 to 345,500, according to the U.S. Labor Department report released on Wednesday. The figure touched a six-week low.
The number of claims was upwardly revised to 348,000 from the initial estimate of 346,000 for the week ended June 22. Jobless claims hit its lowest level in five years in late April, but have since moved to a level that reflects soft economic growth and steady but tepid hiring activity.
Continuing unemployment benefit claims, which are provided to workers for more than a week are are reported with a one-week lag, hit 2,933,000 in the week ended June 22, a decline of 54,000.
Continuing claims’ four-week moving average is at its lowest level in more than five years at 2,969,250. Continuing claims include workers who have drawn from regular state benefits, although they have not received from emergency programs such as from government initiatives aimed to tackle the recent recession.
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