The modest decrease in first-time unemployment claims fails to counter worries over a weak job market.
Jobless claims decreased slightly last week, the Labor Department announced Thursday--but the slim decline is unlikely to allay ongoing worries about the labor market.
Initial claims for jobless benefits decreased by 2,000 for the week ending on June 16, dropping to 387,000 claims, the Department of Labor announced on Thursday. But that drop wasn't enough to keep the four-week average from rising by 3,500 to 386,250 claims, and experts say that the weak numbers are just the latest indication of a struggling labor market.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had projected that 385,000 initial jobless claims were filed last week, 2,000 lower than the number actually reported, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The jobless claims numbers come a day after the Federal Reserve released its prediction that the unemployment rate would hover between 8.0% and 8.2% for 2012. In April, the Fed had projected that unemployment would be between 7.8% and 8.0% for the year.
JOHN MCDERMOTT is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Playboy and on AOL.com. He recently moved from Chicago to Brooklyn, New York, to work for Inc.com. @J_M_McDermott