Washington: New US claims for unemployment insurance benefits fell last week, continuing to point to a downward trend in job losses, official data released Thursday showed.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell by 6,000 to 312,000 in the week ending June 14.
The previous week`s level was revised up by 1,000 to 318,00.
Last week`s claims total came in slightly below analysts` consensus estimate of 313,000.
The Labor Department said there were no special factors impacting the claims number.
First-time claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, have been declining over the past year amid job growth that has picked up in recent months.
The four-week moving average, which smoothes weekly volatility, was 311,750, compared with a revised 315,500 the prior week.
A year ago the moving average stood at 346,500.
The unemployment rate held steady at a six-year low of 6.3 percent in May, unchanged from April.