July 9 (UPI) -- More than 1.3 million American workers have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, the Labor Department said in its weekly assessment Thursday.
The department said 1.31 million U.S. adults filed for benefits last week, a decrease of 99,000 from the previous week.
Thursday's report put the unemployment rate at 12.4 percent, a decrease of a half-point. It also revised down last week's report by 14,000 claims.
Economists had expected about 1.4 million new claims.
Thursday's figure marked the 14th consecutive week of declines since a peak of more than 13 million new claims filed during a two-week period in April. It also represents the 16th straight week of at least 1 million new claims.
Continuing claims, which lag initial jobless claims data by one week, were listed at 18.1 million. Economists projected that figure to be 18.8 million.