Initial jobless claims fell last week, coming in well below most analysts’ estimates and remaining higher than 400,000. The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted figure of actual initial claims for the week ended June 11 decreased about 3.7% to 414,000 from 430,000 the previous week, which was revised upward by 3,000 claims. Analysts surveyed by Econoday projected 420,000 new jobless claims last week with a range of estimates between 408,000 and 424,000. A survey projected new claims of 425,000 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, of 424,750 for last week stayed flat with the prior week’s revised figure. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate for the week ended June 4 also remained flat with the week before at 2.9%, according to the Labor Department. The total number of people receiving some sort of federal unemployment benefits for the week ended May 28 fell to about 7.4 million from 7.68 million the prior week. Write to Jason Philyaw.

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