Unemployment Claims Fall to Three-Month Low

(CN) — Unemployment claims fell last week to a three-month low, yet more evidence of a strong job market.

The Labor Department said Thursday claims for unemployment benefits fell 4,000 to 232,000. The four-week average, a less volatile figure, declined 2,750 to 240,750.

Applications are considered a proxy for layoffs. They have been below 300,000, a historically low figure, for 115 weeks. That’s the longest such streak since 1970.

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits fell to 1.9 million, the lowest level since 1988. The figure has fallen 12 percent in the past year.

The numbers show that companies are holding onto the workers they have and are hiring more. That has resulted in an increase of consumer spending which is cranking up the economy and driving the need for more workers.

Employers added 211,000 jobs in April as the unemployment rate fell to a 10-year low of 4.4 percent. This year, the job gains have averaged 185,000 a month — the same pace as in 2016.

 

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