US jobless claims slide to 6,23,000
In a little respite to the strained American labor market, the number of claims for unemployment benefits declined by as much as 13,000 to 6,23,000 for the week ended May 23.
However, the figures for those receiving jobless benefits soared to 6,788,000, the US Labor Department said in a statement today.
Reeling under the financial turmoil, many American firms have resorted to massive layoffs in recent months and more jobs may be at risk if ailing auto maker General Motors files for bankruptcy.
"In the week ending May 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 6,23,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 6,36,000," the statement said.
The Labor Department data showed that the advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ended May 16 stood at "6,788,000, an increase of 1,10,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 6,678,000".
The unemployment rate in the recession-hit US economy touched 8.9 per cent in April.
"The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 5.1 per cent for the week ended May 16, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate of five per cent," the statement noted.