Nation/World

Fewer File Claims For Jobless Benefits

The number of Americans filing initial jobless claims fell last week as government offices closed for Memorial Day, though the average for claims remained at a more than two-and-a-half year high.

New claims for state unemployment insurance fell by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, the Labor Department said. In the previous week, new claims decreased a revised 1,000 to 379,000, originally reported as a 9,000 gain.

The four-week average for claims, a less volatile gauge of employment conditions, rose to 374,500 from 373,500 the previous week - the highest since Oct. 17, 1992, when the average stood at 379,250. The four-week average has risen steadily since mid-April.



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