The U.S. Labor Department revealed that initial jobless claims, a closely-watched gauge of layoffs, came in at 601,000 for the week ended at June 6th. This was down 24,000 from the previous week's revised level of 625,000.

The 4-week moving average for initial claims, a statistic that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, dipped to 621,750.

Continuing claims, which measures people receiving ongoing unemployment help, pushed further higher, setting yet another record by rising 59,000 to 6.816 million.