The number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits dropped last week to 334,000, a decrease of 12,000 and fewer than the number analysts were expecting.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S on average expected claims for the seven days ended Saturday to drop to 345,000, just 1,000 below the previous week's adjusted figure of 346,000. Instead, the Labor Department estimates a 12,000 drop.
For the seven days ended June 8, the four-week moving average was 345,250, a decrease of 7,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 352,500. By comparison, during the comparable week last year there were 382,000 first-time claims filed.
The new figures suggest that companies have not been in a hiring push but have refrained from firing or laying off workers in order to maintain their current numbers.
Malik Singleton covers manufacturing and other economic news. His previous roles were with City Limits, TIME.com, Black Enterprise and PCMag.com. He is an adjunct at CUNY's...