Initial Unemployment Claims Fall 23,000

Washington, DC, May 23, 2013 -- Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply by 23,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000, the Labor Department said.

The four-week average edged down by 500 to 339,500 and is just above a five-and-a-half-year low.

Applications for first-time unemployment benefits have generally been stable since the start of 2013.