Last year at this time, first-time claims were 424,000.
Forty-four states and territories reported an increase in claims. Nine reported a decrease. Economists polled by Bloomberg and by Reuters had predicted lower numbers.
For state programs and the federal extended benefits program, the total number of people claiming benefits for the week ending June 2 was 5,826,164, a decrease of 1,164 from the previous week. That total keeps falling partly because the job market is slowly improving. But the lower numbers are coming about mostly because individuals are exhausting their eligibility to receive the benefits and because lawmakers cut a budget deal earlier this year that is steadily reducing the number of weeks out-of-work Americans can receive benefits from 99 to 73 in the worst-hit states and to 40 in better-off ones.
The claims numbers released today covered the final week of monthly data that will be reported in the July 6 Bureau of Labor Statistics survey on progress in the job market. They are an indication that the survey will show no better results than the past three months, which have been steadily weaker since March.