Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 14,000 in the April 25 week to 631,000, in what a Labor Department analyst referred to as “a fairly uneventful week.”

A Market News International survey had expected the initial claims level to stabilize at 640,000 this week from the originally reported 640,000 in the April 18 week. The April 18 estimate was revised up to 645,0000.

In the April 18 week, continuing claims set another record high for the 13th consecutive week — seemingly firmly entrenched above the six million mark — rising 133,000 to 6.271 million. Continuing claims were 3.024 million in the comparable week a year ago.

— Market News International

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