Initial unemployment claims fell for the second week in a row for the week ending May 14.
First time jobless claims decreased 29,000 to 409,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. This decrease was more than forecast and calmed concerns about the jump in initial claims last month. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, rose to 439,000, an increase of 1,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 437,750. The number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending May 7 was a seasonally adjusted 3.71 million, a decrease of 81,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of nearly 3.8 million. The four-week moving average was 3,728,250, an increase of 750 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,727,500. The unemployment rate for workers with unemployment insurance was 3 percent for the week ending May 7, unchanged from the previous two weeks. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs ending April 30 was 7.94 million, a decrease of 47,124 from the previous week. lThe largest increases in initial claims for that week were in Alabama, California, Michigan, Mississippi, and Puerto Rico, the largest decreases were in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin.