The number of Americans applying for and receiving benefits after losing their jobs keeps going lower.
Initial jobless claims fell by 8,000 to 237,000 in the seven days stretching from June 4 to June 10, the government said Thursday.
The less-volatile four-week average of new claims rose by 1,000 to a still-low 243,000. In May the monthly average fell to a 44-year bottom.
Initial claims reflect people who apply for benefits after losing their jobs. New applications for benefits have registered less than 300,000 for 119 straight weeks, the longest run since the early 1970s.
What’s more, the number of people already collecting unemployment checks totaled less than 2 million for the ninth straight week. The last time so-called continuing claims were consistently under 2 million was in 1973.
Put another way, the combined total of people applying for unemployment benefits and those who already receive them is now at a nearly 45-year low.
The uber-low level of layoffs reflects a tight labor market in which most Americans who want a job can find one and businesses face a tough time trying to fill open positions with qualified workers.
The strong labor market is a boon to the overall U.S. economy, ensuring that working Americans have enough money to spend to sustain a level of demand that keeps businesses expanding and hiring.
The Federal Reserve is so worried about the possibility a tight labor market will induce higher inflation that the central bank on Wednesday raised the cost of borrowing for the third time in a year and a half.
U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower opening for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
US jobless claims fall 8000 to 237000 – MarketWatch