Thursday, May 8
(Undated) -- First time claims for unemployment benefits are down sharply. This morning's report from the Labor Department shows 319-thousand Americans filing claims for benefits. That's a drop of 26-thousand from the week before. Most economists had been expecting the number of claims to be right around 325-thousand. The biggest increases in claims were in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Delaware. States showing the steepest declines in first time claims were Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and California.