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Financial News: U.S. Jobless Claims Decrease More Than Expected To

U.S. Jobless Claims Decrease More Than Expected To 215,000

05/23/2024 - 09:55:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by more than expected in the week ended May 18th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims slid to 215,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week's revised level of 223,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 220,000 from the 222,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Jobless claims continued to give back ground after climbing to a more than eight-month high of 232,000 in the week ended May 4th.

"The low level of jobless claims underlines the continued strength of the labor market, which is still characterized by very few layoffs," said Michael Pearce, Deputy Chief U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

He added, "Initial claims for the May payroll reference period were broadly in line with April's, suggesting that the May nonfarm employment numbers are likely to remain solid."

Meanwhile, the report said the less volatile four-week moving average crept up to 219,750, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week's revised average of 218,000.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also rose by 8,000 to 1.794 million in the week ended May 11th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also edged up to 1,782,250, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week's revised average of 1,777,250.

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