WASHINGTON, June 2013 – New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits fell last week but remained in the same range of recent months as the jobs market slowly improves, official data released Thursday showed.
Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, fell by 11,000 to 346,000 in the week ending June 1, the Labor Department said.
The reading for the week, which included the Memorial Day public holiday, was slightly below analyst estimates of 348,000.
The department revised the prior week’s number higher to 357,000.
The four-week moving average of claims rose by 4,500 to 352,500, sticking to the range claims have held in the year so far.
The report came a day ahead of Friday’s highly anticipated May jobs report.
Analysts estimate the United States added 159,000 jobs last month, down from 165,000 in April. The unemployment rate is expected to stay at 7.5 percent, unchanged from the prior month.