May 7, 2009

Jobless claims decline

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment insurance declined by 34,000 last week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The 601,000 initial benefits claims contributed to a four-week rolling average of 623,500, which was a decrease of 14,750 from the previous week's rolling average of 638,250.

The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.5 percent.

The biggest increases in claims for the week were reported by Michigan with 9,998 additional claims; Massachusetts, which added 4,577, and Kentucky, which added 3,681, the report said.

State-by-state statistics lag a week behind the national report.

The biggest decreases last week were reported by California with a decline of 10,833 claims; Georgia, declining by 4,174, and South Carolina with 3,676 fewer claims than the week of April 25.