The claims show continued weakness in the job market and hint that the government's next monthly jobs report likely will be no better than those of the past three months. That report will be released July 6.
Thursday's number is 6,000 more than the previous week's revised claims of 380,000, which were originally reported as 377,000. This makes three consecutive weeks that initial claims have been above 380,000. This week last year, seasonally adjusted first-time claims were 418,000.
The four-week running average preferred by most analysts because it flattens volatility in the weekly number was 382,000, an increase of 3,500 from the previous week's revised average of 378,500.
For all unemployment insurance programs, including the federal government's emergency extensions, there was a total of 5,824,739 people making claims for the week ending May 26, a decrease of 145,990 from the previous week.
These numbers are moving sharply downward as we get closer to September when the total number of weeks an individual can claim benefits falls from 99 weeks to 73 weeks in the worst hit states and 40 weeks in states with lower unemployment rates. Tens of thousands of jobless Americans are now exhausting their benefits each month without finding work. The last monthly job report showed 5.4 million Americans have been without work for at least 27 weeks.