The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, but an upward revision to the prior week’s figure suggested the labor market recovery remained gradual.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 5,000 more applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to fall to 330,000 last week.
The four-week moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, dropped 5,750 to 344,000.
Lackluster domestic demand is preventing the labor market from generating stronger jobs growth that would decisively lower the unemployment rate.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at