New claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell for the second week in a row, but not as much as expected, as the troubled labor market slowly recovers, official data showed Thursday.
New jobless claims totaled 367,000 in the week ending May 5, down from an upwardly revised 368,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said.
Analysts had estimated that 365,000 claims were filed.
Jobless claims -- an indicator of the pace of layoffs -- have been trending lower in recent months as the economy continues modest growth.
The four-week moving average of claims fell last week by 5,250, to 379,000.
Last Friday, the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate fell to 8.1% in April as hundreds of thousands dropped out of the labor force, and only 115,000 jobs were created, the lowest number in six months.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012