A handful of recent economic data pointed toward a quicker-than-expected recovery, and the weekly initial jobless claims report Thursday will provide investors with additional clues on the state of the U.S. labor market.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Another 1.29 million Americans are expected to have filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending June 13. In the prior week, there were 1.54 million jobless claims, and it marked 10 consecutive weeks of deceleration. Over the past 3 months, more than 44 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance.” data-reactid=”17″>Another 1.29 million Americans are expected to have filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending June 13. In the prior week, there were 1.54 million jobless claims, and it marked 10 consecutive weeks of deceleration. Over the past 3 months, more than 44 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance.

(Yahoo Finance/David Foster)(Yahoo Finance/David Foster)
(Yahoo Finance/David Foster)

Continuing claims, which lags initial jobless claims data by one week, is expected to total 19.85 million in the week ending June 6, following 20.93 million in the prior week.

Initial jobless claims data isn’t necessarily a perfect indicator of the U.S. labor market, but it still is useful, according to Wells Fargo Securities. “Over-reliance on jobless claims led every forecaster to miss the increase in May nonfarm employment, but claims are still a useful indicator.”

“Initial claims the week ended June 6 fell 19% from the prior week to 1.5M, the largest percentage decrease since April 11. Continuing claims the week ended May 30 fell by 340K t0 20.9M, only the second decrease since the crisis began. The decrease would have been larger if not for outsized increases in California, Florida and Oregon. But both of these numbers are still horrific,” the firm added.

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA - MAY 22: Joseph Louis joins others in a protest asking the state of Florida to fix its unemployment system on May 22, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. Unemployed hospitality and service workers who have not received unemployment checks held the protest demanding Florida Governor Ron DeSantis fix the unemployment system and send out their benefits. Since the closure of all non-essential businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of thousands of hospitality workers across Florida find themselves out of work. Florida’s unemployment system has not worked reliably. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA - MAY 22: Joseph Louis joins others in a protest asking the state of Florida to fix its unemployment system on May 22, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. Unemployed hospitality and service workers who have not received unemployment checks held the protest demanding Florida Governor Ron DeSantis fix the unemployment system and send out their benefits. Since the closure of all non-essential businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of thousands of hospitality workers across Florida find themselves out of work. Florida’s unemployment system has not worked reliably. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – MAY 22: Joseph Louis joins others in a protest asking the state of Florida to fix its unemployment system on May 22, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

UBS economist Seth Carpenter noted that recent high frequency data has indicated that the rate of job layoffs continues to slow. “We think PPP loans and the reopening policies are continuing to support the labor market data. The drop in initial claims would be larger except a handful of states have chronically high layoff rates.”

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program claims, which include those who were previously ineligible for unemployment insurance such as self-employed and contracted workers, will be closely monitored in Thursday’s report.

PUA claims totaled 705,676 on an unadjusted basis in the week ending June 6, down from the prior week’s 796,813.

“We are watching to see if the slow down continues in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims, which extend benefits to the self-employed and others not eligible for regular UI benefits. Both the continuing and initial PUA claims fell [last] week which suggest re-employment trends are occurring across industries,” Carpenter said in a note June 12.

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter:&nbsp;@heidi_chung.” data-reactid=”48″>Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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