The U.S. Labour Department reported on Thursday that the number of Americans who filed applications for jobless benefits fell by 2,000 last week to 370,000. The fall in claims was not significant enough to show that the labour market has improved and instead shows a pause in the recovery. However, the claims are not at catastrophic levels.
Claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 372,000 from 370,000. The average of new claims over the past four weeks, meanwhile, dropped by 5,500 to 370,000, the lowest level in six weeks. Continuing claims decreased by 29,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.26 million in the week ended May 12, the Labour Department said. Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag.
Meanwhile, at the same time the U.S. Commerce Department released a report on durable goods orders. Orders rose 0.2 percent April, after dropping 3.7 percent in March. This is the second rise in three months after demand for cars and car parts picked up. The small increase shows momentum in manufacturing is sluggish. But March’s orders were revised to show a 3.7 percent drop instead of a previously reported 4 percent decline.
Dollar initially weakened against the yen immediately after the data before recovering again.