As employers across the country continue to struggle to find employees, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance only saw a slight decrease from the week prior.

A total of 411,000 first-time unemployment claims were filed for the week ending June 19, down from 418,000 a week earlier, according to the Department of Labor report released on Thursday.

“After initially dipping below the 400,000 mark for a couple weeks beginning in late May, the weekly tally of initial unemployment claims has bounced back over that threshold for the second week in a row, coming in at 411,000. Even the 4-week moving average ticked higher,” Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, said in an email.

“We’ve seen an improvement from the unprecedented unemployment figures and unprecedented times of one year ago, but with 14.8 million Americans registered as unemployed, little changed from last week, there is need for continued progress in the months ahead,” he added.

The state with the highest increase in the number of initial unemployment insurance claims was Pennsylvania with 14,523 claims, while at the same time, Illinois and California had the biggest decreases with drops of 3,605 and 3,330 initial jobless filings, respectively.

Also released on Thursday was a separate report from the Census Bureau, showing a 6.4% growth for first-quarter gross domestic product, which was unchanged from estimates and forecasts.

The report from the Census Bureau indicated that durable goods purchases increased by 2.3% in May, down from the 2.6% estimated, but still the largest increase since July 2020.

Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.3%, while transportation equipment was 7.6% after two consecutive months of declines. Shipments of manufactured durable goods were up 0.4%, unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods increased 0.8%, and inventories of manufactured durable goods grew 0.7%. Nondefense new orders for capital goods were up 2.7%.

The Census Bureau said that revised and more detailed GDP estimates would be published on July 2.

New filings for US unemployment aid dropped for the third straight week to a new pandemic low, indicating businesses may finally be recovering from the mass layoffs that began in March 2020 New filings for US unemployment aid dropped for the third straight week to a new pandemic low, indicating businesses may finally be recovering from the mass layoffs that began in March 2020 Photo: AFP / Olivier DOULIERY