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

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Drop Less Than Expected To 1.877 Million

06/04/2020 - 09:14:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits pulled back further off their recent record high in the week ended May 30th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims tumbled to 1.877 million, a decrease of 249,000 from the previous week's revised level of 2.126 million.

However, economists had expected jobless claims to slump to 1.800 million from the 2.123 million originally reported for the previous week.

Jobless claims pulled back further off the record high of 6.867 million set in the week ended March 28th, although the number of new claims since the coronavirus lockdowns now exceeds 42.6 million.

While claims declined for the ninth straight week, Paul Ashworth, Chief U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, noted, "The pace of decline has begun to stall a little, with claims still at an otherwise unprecedented level."

The Labor Department also said the less volatile four-week moving average sank to 2,284,000, a decrease of 324,750 from the previous week's revised average of 2,608,750.

Meanwhile, the report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, jumped by 649,000 to 21.487 million in the week ended May 23rd.

Despite the weekly increase, economists at Oxford Economics noted continuing claims remain below their peak, suggesting "a small amount of rehiring may be starting to take place."

The four-week moving average of continuing claims slid to 22,446,250, a decrease of 222,500 from the previous week's revised average of 22,668,750.

On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched employment report for the month of May.

Employment is expected to tumble by about 8.0 million jobs in May after plunging by 20.5 million jobs in April. The unemployment rate is expected to jump to 19.7 percent from 14.7 percent.

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