U.S. jobless claims fall 7,000 last week

WASHINGTON, May 6 (BestGrowthStock) – The number of U.S. workers
filing new applications for unemployment insurance fell
slightly less than expected last week, government data showed
on Thursday, implying a measured job market recovery.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped
7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 444,000 in the week ended May 1,
the Labor Department said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected claims to fall to
440,000 from the previously reported 448,000, which was
slightly revised up to 451,000 in Thursday’s report. A labor
department official described the report as uneventful, but
said they had to make estimates for Tennessee because of floods
which had left the state unable to process claims.

The four-week moving average of new claims, considered a
better measure of underlying job market trends, fell 4,750 to
458,500, after rising for four weeks.

The labor market is on the mend after taking a beating
during the recession, but the recovery pace may be painfully
slow for the 8.2 million Americans who lost their jobs during
the worst downturn since the 1930s.

Thursday’s claims data has no bearing on April’s employment
report due on Friday, as it falls outside the survey period.

A Reuters survey predicted non-farm payrolls increased
200,000 last month following March’s 162,000 gain. The
employment rate is expected to have held steady at 9.7 percent
for a fourth month.

The number of people still receiving jobless benefits after
an initial week of aid dropped 59,000 to 4.59 million in the
week ended April 24, the Labor Department said.

The level was in line with market expectations for 4.60
million and so-called continuing claims fell for a third week.

The insured unemployment rate, which measures the
percentage of the insured labor force that is jobless, was
unchanged at 3.6 percent in the week ended April 24, for a
third week.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

U.S. jobless claims fall 7,000 last week