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.