NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment assistance fell last week, the government reported Thursday, but came in above economists' expectations for the second consecutive week.
Initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped to 353,000 in the week ended April 17, down from a revised 362,000 the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department reported. Economists expected 340,000 people to file for unemployment insurance, according to Briefing.com.
The four-week average of initial claims, which irons out weekly fluctuations, rose to 347,000 last week from a revised 344,750 the prior week.
The Labor Department said the overall number of people on the benefit rolls who had already received an initial week of aid climbed to 3,019,000 from a revised 2,967,000 the previous week.