WASHINGTON — Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 to 365,000 during the week of May 17, while continuing claims held above three million, unchanged from the previous week, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

The comparable initial claims total for the April monthly employment report survey week was 375,000.

Analysts had expected initial jobless claims in the latest week to rise to 375,000. The previous week’s initial claims level was revised upward to 374,000 from the previously reported 371,000 level. Seasonal adjustment factors had expected a slight decline of 0.1% or 374 and instead got a 2.4% decline or 7,867. This is still well above the unadjusted 258,516 level in the comparable week a year ago as well as the 338,374 in the comparable week in the 2001 recession year.

The four-week moving average initial claims was 372,250, an increase of 5,000 in the May 17 week.

Continuing claims for the May 10 week were unchanged at 3,073,000. The four-week average was 3,052,000, up 31,750.

— Market News International


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