First-time jobless claims fall

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter

NEW YORK ( -- The number of Americans filing for their first week of unemployment insurance fell slightly last week, according to a weekly government report released Thursday.

There were 460,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended May 22, down 14,000 from an upwardly revised 474,000 the previous week, according to the Labor Department's weekly report.

The number of claims was slightly higher than expected. Economists surveyed by forecast new claims to fall to 455,000.

Initial claims have been caught in the mid- to upper-400,000s since November, and economists want to see it move below that bar before calling the start of a recovery.

"It's a stagnant employment situation, and that's not a good thing," said Dan Egan, president of the Massachusetts Credit Union League. "We were expecting and hoping we'd see a greater gain in jobs during this time."

Fears of a double-dip recession and the costs tied to hiring new employees still have business owners in a "cautionary mode," said Egan. Employers need to see consistent improvement in the real estate sector before they really start ramping up their hiring, he said.

The four-week moving average for weekly initial claims was 456,500, up from 454,250 the previous week. The Labor Department tracks the four-week average of the weekly figures, to smooth out the volatility of the measure.

The report also said 4,607,000 people continued to file unemployment claims for their second week or more during the week ended May 15, the most recent data available. That's down from an upwardly revised 4,656,000 the week before.

Standard unemployment benefits usually last 26 weeks. The continued claims number does not include those who have moved into state or federal extensions, or people whose benefits have expired but may still be without a job.

The national unemployment rate currently stands at 9.9%. To top of page

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 32,627.97 -234.33 -0.71%
Nasdaq 13,215.24 99.07 0.76%
S&P 500 3,913.10 -2.36 -0.06%
Treasuries 1.73 0.00 0.12%
Data as of 6:29am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 8.29 0.05 0.61%
Advanced Micro Devic... 54.59 0.70 1.30%
Cisco Systems Inc 47.49 -2.44 -4.89%
General Electric Co 13.00 -0.16 -1.22%
Kraft Heinz Co 27.84 -2.20 -7.32%
Data as of 2:44pm ET


Bankrupt toy retailer tells bankruptcy court it is looking at possibly reviving the Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us brands. More

Land O'Lakes CEO Beth Ford charts her career path, from her first job to becoming the first openly gay CEO at a Fortune 500 company in an interview with CNN's Boss Files. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.