Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell more than expected, easing concerns over the strength of the labor market, official data showed on Thursday.
In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 3 decreased by 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 319,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 345,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 20,000 to 325,000 last week.
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended April 26 fell to 2.685 million from 2.761 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to decline to 2.750 million.
The four-week moving average was 324,750, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week’s total of 320,250. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.
Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar held on to losses against the euro, with EUR/USD rising 0.33% to trade at 1.3956.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open. The Dow pointed to a loss of 0.02%, S&P 500 indicated a decline of 0.15%, while the Nasdaq 100 signaled a drop of 0.3%.
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