Initial jobless claims fell 9.2% last week, after climbing nearly 10% to the highest level since August the week before. The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted figure of actual initial claims for the week ended May 7 decreased by 44,000 to 434,000. Initial claims for the prior week were 478,000, which was revised upward 4,000. Analysts surveyed by Econoday expected 430,000 new jobless claims last week with a range of estimates between 415,000 and 465,000. A survey projected new claims of 400,000 for last week. The four-week moving average, which is considered a less volatile indicator than weekly claims, rose by 4,500 to 436,750 from a slightly revised average of 432,250 the prior week. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate for the week ended April 30 remained unchanged at 3%, according to the Labor Department. The total number of people receiving some sort of federal unemployment benefits for the week ended April 23 fell to 7.9 million from 8 million the prior week. Write to Jason Philyaw.

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