Weekly jobless claims dropped by 14,000 last week, but the economy expanded more slowly than expected in the first quarter as gross domestic product was revised slightly downward Wednesday.
First-quarter GDP was changed from 3.2 percent to 3 percent, while 460,000 new jobless claims were filed last week, in line with most economists' expectations, according to releases from the Labor and Commerce departments Thursday.
The four-week moving average of new unemployment claims rose by 2,250 to 456,500.
Overall, the labor market is showing slow improvement, as the number of continuing claims dropped last week to 4.607 million from 4.656 million the previous week. But weekly claims need to drop into the low 400,000s or even high 300,000s for job creation to begin making a dent in the job market that has lost 8 million jobs during the past couple of years.
May unemployment numbers are due out next week, and the jobless rate is likely to remain around 9.9 percent, although 500,000 jobs are expected to be added.