Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 4,000 in the May 30 week to 621,000, around analysts’ expectations, according to data released by the Labor Department yesterday.

Initial claims for the May 23 week were revised up 2,000 to 625,000. Claims for the May 16 week stayed unchanged at 636,000.

The initial claims seasonally adjusted four-week average rose 4,000 to 631,250.

In the May 23 week, continuing claims surprised, posting their first decline after 17 consecutive gains.

Continuing claims fell by 15,000 to 6.735 million. Continuing claims were 3.095 million in the comparable week a year ago.

—Market News International

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