(Adds more detail from report)
WASHINGTON May 12 U.S. claims for
unemployment aid fell sharply last week after a surprisingly
big rise the prior week, a government report showed on
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 44,000
to a seasonally adjusted 434,000 in the week ended May 7, the
Labor Department said.
Analysts had expected the claims to drop to 430,000.
Revised data for the week ended April 30 showed a rise of
47,000 in jobless claims to 478,000, fuelled largely by about
25,000 spring break layoffs in New York.
Many states in the Northeast allow for non-teaching staff
to file for unemployment benefits when schools close for spring
and summer breaks.
To some degree, last week's drop was a reaction to the
prior week's surge, which not was anticipated by the factors
the department uses to seasonally adjust the claims number, a
Labor Department official said. New York's spring break
occurred at an unusual time this year.
The four-week moving average of unemployment claims, a
better measure of underlying trends, increased 4,500 to
436,750, the highest since November.
The number of people still receiving benefits under regular
state programs after receiving an initial week of aid increased
5,000 to 3.76 million in the week ended April 30. Economists
had expected so-called continuing claims to fall to 3.70
million, from a previously reported 3.73 million.
(Reporting by Doug Palmer; editing by Chizu Nomiyama)