Last week, the amount of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rebounded from a 42-1/2 year lows, but the fundamental trend remained on track with tightening labor market conditions. Next, initial claims for state unemployment benefits gained 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 257,000 for the week ended April 23rd, reported by the Labor Department on Thursday. Claims for the week before were revised to report 1,000 additional applications than what was previously reported.
A poll by economists had projected claims increasing to 260,000 in the most recent week. Jobless claims have now been under the 300,000 threshold that correlates with healthy labor market conditions, now for a year and 2 months, the longest streak in 43 years. On Thursday, a Labor Department analyst stated there were no special factors swaying last week’s claims data and no states had been projected. Next, the four-week moving average of claims, known as a better barometer of labor market trends as it flattens out week-to-week volatility, dropped 4,750 to 256,000 last week, the lowest we’ve seen since December 1973.
The amount of people still getting benefits following an initial week of aid fell 5,000 to 2.13 million the week ended April 16th, the lowest in almost 16 years. The four-week average of the so-called continuing claims dropped 10,500 to 2.16 million, the lowest reading since 2000. Lastly, the four-week median of continuing claims reduced 47,750 between the March and April survey periods, indicating an improvement in the unemployment rate. The jobless rate was at 5.0 percent in March.