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Jobless claims inched down to 422,000 last week

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Initial jobless claims fell slightly last week, yet still came in higher than most analysts' estimates. The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted figure of actual initial claims for the week ended May 28 decreased about 1.4% to 422,000 from 428,000 the previous week, which was revised upward by 4,000 claims. Analysts surveyed by Econoday expected 420,000 new jobless claims last week with a range of estimates between 410,000 and 430,000. A Briefing.com survey projected new claims of 400,000 for last week. Most economists believe weekly claims lower than 400,000 indicate the economy is expanding and jobs growth is strengthening. The four-week moving average, which is considered a less volatile indicator than weekly claims, declined by 14,000 claims to 425,500 from a slightly revised 439,500 for the prior week. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate for the week ended May 21 stayed flat with the week before at 3%, according to the Labor Department. The total number of people receiving some sort of federal unemployment benefits for the week ended May 14 fell to about 7.68 million from 7.74 million the prior week. Write to Jason Philyaw.

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