New applications for unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 1.542 million for the week ended June 6, from 1.897 million the prior week.

  • Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 1.55 million claims in the latest.
  • The number of people staying on benefits remained high, with continued claims number at 20.929 million for the week ended May 30.
  • The weekly jobless claims report, the most timely data on the economy’s health, followed news last Friday of a surprise 2.5 million increase in nonfarm payrolls in May.
  • Claims for jobless benefits are still more than double their peak during the 2007-09 Great Recession.