Jobless Claims in U.S. Resume Decline Amid Tight Labor Market

The U.S. labor market remains a bright spot in the economy as fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, with hiring managers decrying a scarcity of available workers, Labor Department data showed Thursday.

Highlights of Jobless Claims (Week Ended June 3)
  • Initial jobless claims decreased by 10k to 245k (forecast was 240k)
  • Continuing claims fell by 2k to 1.92 million in week ended May 27 (data reported with one-week lag)
  • Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, rose to 242k from 239.75k in the prior week

Key Takeaways

The latest figures could be subject to seasonal fluctuations just after the Memorial Day holiday and as the school year starts coming to a close. While claims were revised up for the previous week, the original report for that period contained estimates for some of the largest states. The U.S. economy retains a tight labor market with historically low levels of Americans filing claims as hiring managers worry more about finding and retaining workers than shedding staff. The muted benefits filings have contributed to the Federal Reserve’s case that the economy can absorb further interest-rate increases.

Other Details

  • Previous week’s initial claims revised to 255,000 from 248,000
  • Louisiana had estimated claims last week
  • Unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits unchanged at 1.4 percent
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