A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits increased by more than anticipated in the week ended May 12th.
The report said initial jobless claims rose to 222,000, an increase of 11,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 211,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 215,000.
Meanwhile, the less volatile four-week moving average dipped to 213,250, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 216,000.
The modest decrease pulled the four-week moving average down to its lowest level since hitting 210,750 in December of 1969.
The Labor Department noted claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal.
Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, fell by 87,000 to 1.707 million in the week ended May 5th.
With the decrease, continuing claims dropped to their lowest level since hitting 1.692 million in December of 1973.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims also slid to a more than forty-four year low of 1,773,750, a decrease of 39,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 1,813,500.