Though jobless claims increased by 28,000 to 326,000 in the week ended May 17, 2014, continuing claims fell to the lowest since December 2007, Bloomberg reported.

After 298,000 filings a week earlier that were higher than initially reported, Labor Department figures showed the median forecast of 50 economists (INJCJC) surveyed by Bloomberg called for a rise to 310,000.

A steady decline in firings is needed for employers to boost hiring and eventually raise wages that would spur consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of the economy, according to Bloomberg. The four-week average of claims, a less volatile measure than the weekly figure, fell to 322,500 last week from 323,500, Bloomberg reported.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 13,000 to 2.65 million in the week ended May 10, while the unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 2%, the Bloomberg report showed.

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