After claims seemed to hold at somewhat higher levels in recent weeks, the number of applications for unemployment benefits dramatically decreased last week.
The Labor Department announced on Thursday that U.S. applications for unemployment benefits decreased by 26,000 to 239,000 for the week ending June 24.
The increased claims statistics were expected to stay above 260,000, where they had stabilized over the previous three weeks, according to economists.
The claims’ four-week moving average, which smooths out some weekly variations, increased by 1,500 to 257,500.
Applications for unemployment benefits are thought to be an accurate reflection of the weekly number of layoffs.
The week that concluded on June 17 saw a total of 1.74 million people get unemployment benefits, which is 19,000 fewer than the week before.