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Weekly U.S. jobless claims edge down to 422,000

Weekly U.S. jobless claims edge down to 422,000 (by Jeffry Bartash)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The number of people who filed applications for unemployment compensation fell slightly last week to 422,000 from 428,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The prior week's number was revised up from an originally reported 424,000. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected initial claims to decline to a seasonally adjusted 418,000 in the week ended May 28. The average of new claims over the past four weeks, considered a more accurate measure of employment trends, fell by 14,000 to 425,500, the lowest level in more than a month. The rolling average smoothes out week-to-week volatility in the data. The number of people who continued to receive unemployment checks, meanwhile, was barely changed, totaling a seasonally adjusted 3.71 million in the week ended May 21. Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag. The total number of people receiving some kind of state or federal benefit, which is reported with a two-week lag, fell by 56,742 to 7.68 million in week of May 14.