Applications for Unemployment Benefits Held Steady Last Week

The Illinois Department of Employment Security office in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

(CN) — The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits remained unchanged last week, at 245,000, the same number as the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, climbed 1,750 to 237,750, the department added.

Applications are essentially a proxy for layoffs, and any reading below 300,000 is considered low in a historical context.

Overall, about 1.94 million people are receiving jobless benefits, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week. Last year at this time, about 2.1 million Americans were receiving jobless benefits.

The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent.

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