First-time claims for jobless benefits fell last week to a one-month low, helping allay concern that the labor market may suffer an extended setback.
Jobless claims dropped by 1,000 to 367,000 in the period ended May 5, in line with the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey and the lowest since the end of March, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls was the smallest since July 2008.
Also today, Commerce Department figures showed the trade deficit widened more than forecast in March as American demand for crude oil, computers, automobiles and televisions propelled imports to a record.
American employers added fewer workers than forecast in April and the jobless rate unexpectedly fell as people left the labor force, the Labor Department said on May 4. Payrolls climbed 115,000, the smallest gain in six months.