Although they declined by 1,000, first-time claims for unemployment insurance remained higher last week than most economists expected. Economists were looking for a figure of 315,000. The actual figure for the week ending May 6 was 324,000, down from a revised figure of 325,000 for the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department reported on May 11.
The department's four-week moving average for initial claims increased by 2,500 last week to 317,250, continuing a recent upward trend.
Both the latest weekly figure and the four-week average, however, suggest U.S. employers are moderately adding to their payrolls.