A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed a notable decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended April 25th, although claims remain at a significantly elevated level.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims tumbled to 3.839 million, a decrease of 603,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 4.442 million.
Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 3.500 million from the 4.427 million originally reported for the previous week.
The report said the less volatile four-week moving average also dropped to 5,033,250, a decrease of 757,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 5,790,250.
Jobless claims have steadily decreased since reaching a record high of 6.867 million, although the number of new claims has topped 30 million since the coronavirus-induced economic shutdown.
The Labor Department said continuing claims, a reading on number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, spiked by 2.174 million to a record high 17.992 million in the week ended April 18th.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims also jumped to 13,292,500, an increase of 3,733,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 9,559,250.
Next Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its closely watched monthly employment report for April.
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