Initial Jobless Claims Fall For Second Consecutive Week

By John S. McClenahen For the second consecutive week, initial claims for unemployment benefits fell during the week ending May 4. Claims totaled 411,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week's revised total of 422,000, says the U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency's four-week moving average fell 8,500 to 428,000 for the week ending May 4. The number for initial claims fell despite extended benefits being available in several states. However, the figure is still above the 400,000 mark, suggesting that companies continue to selectively trim their payrolls.

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