NEW YORK — The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell slightly last week.
About 370,000 people filed new jobless claims in the week ended May 19, marking a 2,000 decline after the prior week was revised higher, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast that 365,000 claims were filed last week.
Initial claims are a volatile number from week to week, so economists often prefer to look at an average over a four-week period. That number has fallen for three straight weeks.
Still though, claims around 370,000 are not low enough to signal robust job creation in May.
The number of people receiving continuing unemployment benefits fell to 3.26 million for the week ended May 19. That was down 29.000 from a week earlier.