Initial jobless claims increased to 471,000 for the week ending May 15, above economists’ estimates and the highest level in a month, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

Continuing claims fell to 4.625 million for the week ending May 8, the lowest level since March 27. Continuing claims for the week ending May 1 were revised higher to 4.665 million from 4.627 million.

Economists expected 440,000 initial claims and 4.6 million continuing claims, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Initial claims for the week ending May 8 were revised higher to 446,000 from 444,000 reported last week.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, a less volatile figure, increased to 453,500 from 450,500. The four-week average for continuing claims fell to 4,642,500 from 4,652,000.

There were no state estimates last week. For the week ending May 8, seven states reported an increase of more than 1,000 initial claims. California led those states with an 8,351 increase in initial claims stemming from layoffs in service and manufacturing industries. Four states reported a decrease of more than 1,000 initial claims.

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