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U.S. jobless claims see moderate decline

06-03-2011 09:23 BJT

WASHINGTON, June 2 (Xinhua) -- The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid last week declined moderately, but still at a relatively high level, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.

The Labor Department said that the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits was 422,000 in the week ending May 28, a decrease of 6,000 from the prior week's revised figure. It was the third decline in the past four weeks following much bigger increases in April.

Fewer than 425,000 people applying for aid is consistent with modest job growth, but the number of jobless claims will have to fall to 375,000 or below to signal a sustained drop in the unemployment rate.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, which more closely watched claims figure, also dipped to 425,500, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week's revised average.

The advance figure for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 21 was 3.711 million, a small decrease of 1,000 from the previous week.

The U.S. economy rose at only a 1.8 percent rate in the first quarter, which dragged down the recovery of the labor market. The U.S. private sector added only 38,000 jobs in May, much weaker than the average level of the past several months, according to data released Wednesday by Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP).

The weekly figures of jobless benefits applications reflect the level of layoffs and indicate the real-time condition of the American job market.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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