NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The number of Americans filing for initial unemployment insurance fell more than expected last week, but ongoing claims ticked higher, according to government data released Thursday.
There were 601,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended June 6, down 24,000 from 625,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said.
Economists expected 615,000 new claims, according to a consensus survey by Briefing.com.
"It was a solid improvement," said Adam York, analyst at Wachovia. "These are good signs that we may have seen the peak."
The 4-week moving average of initial claims was 621,750, down 10,500 from the previous week's revised-up average of 632,250.
"That means the job market is starting to get at least 'less worse,'" York said. "The pace of decline is improving, and we aren't seeing huge layoffs like those in January and February."