The number of people filing for unemployment insurance benefits for the first time fell by 2,000 last week, but that was not as low as economists had projected.
Currently, there are about 3.3 million people collecting unemployment insurance, according to the Labor Department. In the week that ended June 16, the number of people initially filing was 387,000.
People collecting emergency benefits, who have used up their traditional unemployment benefits, dropped by 42,000, according to the report.
"Momentum is slowing," said Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities USA Inc., in an interview with Bloomerg. "Companies have curtailed demand for labor. This means less income growth. That's a restraint on consumer spending."
Stocks in the United States hovered around the breakeven point early this morning after the report was released.
An international report showing that manufacturing is decreasing in China and Europe, along with the Federal Reserve saying yesterday that it would only extend Operation Twist, also contributed to the lower numbers.
A report released today showed that existing home sales decreased in May by 1.5 percent, according to Bloomberg.