According to data released by the Department of Labor this morning, 2,000 fewer Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week. The government also revised upward the prior week’s jobless claims from 386,000 to 389,000.
Last week, a seasonally adjusted 387,000 people filed for unemployment benefits. That disappointed economists, who had forecast a drop to 380,000 claims, Reuters said.
While the number of claims has remained little changed in the last two weeks, the four-week average rose 3,500 to 386,500. That’s the largest number since the end of last year and a sign that the job market continues to struggle.
Just over 5.8 million Americans were claiming some form of unemployment benefits last week, down fractionally from the week before. Unemployment benefits in many states are expiring.
Economists cited by Reuters anticipate only slight improvement in job creation during June. Private employers added just 69,000 nonfarm jobs in May.