Initial unemployment claims fell in the week ending May 7 following an unexpected spike the previous week. First time jobless claims decreased 44,000 to 434,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, rose to 436,750, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 432,250. The number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending April 30 was 3,756,000, an increase of 5,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,751,000. The unemployment rate for workers with unemployment insurance was 3 percent for the week ending April 30, unchanged from the previous week. The largest increases in initial claims for that week were in New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Ohio, while the largest decreases were in New Jersey, California, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, and Florida. Economists forecast initial jobless claims to drop to 423,000 after last week’s surge, which had been attributed to spring break, auto-plant shutdowns and other factors.