Initial Jobless Claims Fall To 410,000, Slightly Below Expectations

By John A. McClenahen For the week ending May 25, initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to 410,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 422,000. The figure, compiled by the U.S. Labor Department's Employment & Training Administration, was just under the 413,00 that most economists anticipated. The four-week moving average number of claims also decreased, down to 418,500 from 421,500 in the previous week. However, "until profit margins are restored, job growth will be tepid and jobless claims will be uncomfortably high," says Merrill Lynch & Co., New York. April data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics put the U.S. unemployment rate at 6%. The numbers for May are slated to be released on Friday, June 7 -- and could well show a rise in the rate of one- or two-tenths of a percentage point.

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