The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid last week fell to the lowest level since May 12, 2007, pointing to a recovering job market after a harsh winter.
Initial claims for jobless benefits decreased 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 297,000 in the week ending May 10, better than the average market expectation of around 303,000, showed the data released by the U.S. Labor Department on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, which helps smooth out week-to-week volatility, edged down 2,000 to 323,250 last week. The advance figure of seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 3 fell 9,000 from the previous week to 2,667,000.
Initial claims for jobless benefits reflect the latest firings in a week. A decrease or keeping at a low level is a signal for the job market recovery.
The Labor Department said earlier this month that the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in April, the highest in more than two years, and the unemployment rate plunged to 6.3 percent from 6.7 percent, indicating that the job market was improving.