Here is the opening statement from the Department of Labor:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending May 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 473,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 9,000 from 498,000 to 507,000. The 4-week moving average was 534,000, a decrease of 28,250 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week's average was revised up by 2,250 from 560,000 to 562,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending May 1, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's revised rate. The previous week's rate was revised up by 0.1 from 2.6 to 2.7 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 1 was 3,655,000, a decrease of 45,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up 10,000 from 3,690,000 to 3,700,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,665,000, a decrease of 13,250 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 28, 2020 when it was 3,611,750. The previous week's average was revised up by 2,500 from 3,675,750 to 3,678,250. [See full report]

This morning's seasonally adjusted 473K new claims, down 25K from the previous week's upwardly revised figure, was better than the Investing.com forecast of 490K.

Here is a close look at the data over the decade (with a callout for the past year), which gives a clearer sense of the overall trend.

Unemployment Claims since 2007

As we can see, there's a good bit of volatility in this indicator, which is why the 4-week moving average (the highlighted number) is a more useful number than the weekly data. Here is the complete data series.

Unemployment Claims

The headline Unemployment Insurance data is seasonally adjusted. What does the non-seasonally adjusted data look like? See the chart below, which clearly shows the extreme volatility of the non-adjusted data (the red dots). The 4-week MA gives an indication of the recurring pattern of seasonal change (note, for example, those regular January spikes).