Weekly jobless-aid claims down 15,000
Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits last week fell to the lowest level since early May, reflecting growing demand for workers in a tight job market, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.
Unemployment claims fell by 15,000 to 233,000 (the forecast was 245,000) last week while continuing claims increased by 28,000 to 1.98 million in the week that ended July 8.
The four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, fell to 243,800 from 246,000 in the prior week.
Filings fell close to the lowest level since 1973, which shows that employers in the U.S. are hesitant to fire workers as finding qualified applicants becomes increasingly difficult. Analysts may pay particular attention to Thursday’s report because it covers the same week when the Labor Department conducts surveys for its monthly employment report, which is due out on Aug. 4.