First-time jobless claims declined to 498,000 for the week of May 1 from an upwardly revised 590,000 during the previous week, as continuing claims remained elevated at 3.69 million, according to government data released Thursday.
This data will not affect Friday’s employment report, which is now expected to show a gain of more than 1 million new jobs for April, according to Bloomberg’s consensus forecast.
During April, the top-line jobless claims figure dropped from 742,000 for the week ending April 1 to 498,000 to end the month. That decline underscores our optimistic forecast for a drop in the overall unemployment rate to 4.1% by the end of the year from the current 6%.
First-time applications for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance declined to 101,214 from 121,414 for the week ending May 1. Through the week ending April 17, there were 16.1 million people receiving some form of unemployment assistance, including 3.7 million on regular state unemployment, 6.8 million on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and 4.9 million on federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
The remainder, on state additional benefits, were newly discharged veterans or federal employees who have been laid off. A look at the state-by-state tallies did not indicate any unusual increase or decrease in filings.
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