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Financial News: U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Drop More Than Expected

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Drop More Than Expected To 221,000

05/31/2018 - 09:20:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - A day ahead of the release of the closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a bigger than expected decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended May 26th.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 221,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 234,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 228,000.

Meanwhile, the less volatile four-week moving average inched up to 222,250, an increase of 2,500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 219,750.

The Labor Department noted claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, fell by 16,000 to 1.726 million in the week ended May 19th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also dropped to 1,743,500, a decrease of 8,500 from the previous week's revised average of 1,752,000.

With the decline, the four-week moving average of continuing claims hit its lowest level since December of 1973.

The Labor Department is scheduled to release a separate report on the employment situation in the month of May on Friday.

The report is expected to show an increase of about 188,000 jobs in May following the addition of 164,000 jobs in April. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.9 percent.

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