Initial unemployment insurance claims dropped by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 380,000 for the week ending May 12 from a revised 388,00 the previous week.
The more closely watched four week moving average, thought to be a better economic indicator because it smoothes out weekly fluctuations, also declined for the second straight week to 401,250 its lowest level since April 21, when claims were at 395,250.
The largest increases in claims were in California, 6,939, due to trimmed payrolls in the service and motion picture industries, and in Texas, 1,586, which cut jobs in the food, apparel, trade, services and machinery industries.
The largest decreases were in North Carolina, 12,265, which had fewer layoffs in the textile, furniture and apparel industries, followed by:
- Iowa, 3,598;
- New York, 3,232;
- Michigan, 2,145;
- South Carolina, 1,575