A little over 2.4 million people nationally filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, still an historically high number, but one that continues a downward trend since late March.
In all, some 38 million people have sought jobless benefits across the nation in nine weeks.
As always, the number does not count those who have been unable to file for benefits for various reasons or those the government counts as self-employed.
In the week ending May 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 2,438,000, a decrease of 249,000 from the previous week, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.
The previous week’s average was revised down by 73,500 from 3,616,500 to 3,543,000.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 17.2 percent for the week ending May 9, an increase of 1.7 percentage points from the previous week’s revised rate, the department said.
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