NEW YORK (
) -- Ahead of Friday's highly anticipated monthly jobs report, the number of new applicants for state unemployment benefits edged lower last week, according to a government report released Thursday. A separate report showed private sector employers added more workers to their payrolls last month.
Initial jobless claims fell by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 453,000 for the week ending May 29, the Labor Department said. Wall Street had expected new claims to fall to 455,000 from last week's pre-revised 460,000 total, according to consensus estimates provided by
The moving average of new filers over the past four weeks grew a tad higher by 1,750 to 459,000, while the number of those continuing on jobless benefit roles also edged up to 4.666 million from 4.635 million for the week ending May 22.
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said private sector payrolls added 55,000 in May, which was a little lighter than the consensus forecast for a jump of 60,000. But April's jobs increase, originally reported as a gain of 32,000, was also revised higher to 65,000.
The jobs figures serve as a kind of prelude for Friday's May jobs report from the Labor Department. Economists are expecting nonfarm payrolls, which also includes government positions, to add another 500,000 jobs, while many are looking for the nation's unemployment rate to edge lower by a tenth of percentage point to 9.8%.
--Written by Sung Moss in New York