Washington: In a glimmer of hope for the strained US labour market, the number of claims for unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 for the week ended 16 May.
The jobless claims declined to 6,31,000 compared to 6,43,000 in the previous week, the US Labor Department said in a statement.
“In the week ending 16 May, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 6,31,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 6,43,000,” the statement noted.
The four-week moving average was 6,28,500, down 3,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 6,32,000.
According to the data, the number of Americans getting jobless benefits rose by as much as 75,000 to 6,662,000 for the week ended 9 May.
“The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending 9 May was 6,662,000, up 75,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 6,587,000,” it added.
Meanwhile, the “insured unemployment rate” stood at 5% during the same period.
In the wake of the financial crisis, companies are slashing jobs as part of their cost cutting efforts. The jobless rate in the world’s largest economy had zoomed to nearly 9% in April.