The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to a strengthening labor market.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 300,000 for the week ended May 24, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
The prior weeks claims were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless aid falling to 318,000 last week.
Claims have been choppy in recent weeks, reflecting difficulties seasonally adjusting the data around moving holidays such as Easter and Passover.
Through the volatility, however, claims continued to suggest the labor market was firming.
The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of underlying labor market conditions as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 11,250 to 311,500 last week, the lowest level since August 2007.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at U.S. jobless claims drop, continuing claims lowest since 2007 | Reuters.