The number those who have claimed more than a week of benefits was up for the third consecutive week, reaching 3,112,000 in the July 7 week, the latest week for which figures are available.
For the work-week ending July 14, the number of claims fell from a revised total of 445,000 claims for the week of July 7, to 414,000 claims, according to figures by the Department of Labor.
The 4-week moving average, a better barometer of the unemployment picture was 414,500, an increase of 2,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 412,000.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending July 7 were in Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana, while the largest decreases were in California, New Jersey and Florida.
The decrease in the initial claims figure, coupled with other positive economic data, such as the fall in May’s trade deficit and a higher than anticipated increase in June’s leading economic lifted the market through midday trading.