The number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 346,000, a decrease of 9,000 yet slightly higher than the number analysts were expecting, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S expected, on average, claims for the seven days ended Saturday to fall to 345,000 below the previous week's seasonally adjusted figure of 355,000. By comparison, there were 381,000 first-time claims filed during the comparable week last year (seasonally adjusted).
For the seven days ended June 22, the four-week moving average, considered a more reliable measure, fell to 345,750, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's revised average of 348,500.
"The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending June 8 was 4,556,706, an increase of 23,146 from the previous week," the Labor Department said in a statement. "There were 5,890,083 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2012."
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...