First time jobless claims, an indication of layoffs, dropped last week to 346,000
Initial claims for unemployment benefits last week dropped 11,000 to a preliminary of 346,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, was 352,500, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week. The advance number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending May 25 was 2,952,000, a decrease of 52,000 from the preceding week. The four-week moving average was 2,975,750, a decrease of 15,250 from the prior week. States reported 1,760,593 persons claiming emergency unemployment compensation in the week ending May 18, an increase of 33,934 from the previous week. There were 2,572,613 claimants in the comparable week in 2012. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending May 18 was 4,646,761, an increase of 68,169 from the preceding week. There were 5,970,572 claimants in the similar week last year. The largest increases in initial claims for unemployment for the week ending May 25 were in California, Missouri, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Kansas. The largest decreases were in Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.