New applications for unemployment benefits ticked up for the second consecutive week but remained close to historical laws, signaling a tight US labor market.
Source: US Department of Labor
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Initial jobless claims increased by 1,000 to 203,000 last week from the prior week’s revised level of 202,000.
Filings for unemployment benefits have come close to the record lows set in 1968. The four-week average for claims, which smooths out the volatility in the weekly data, increased to 192,750 last week.
Continuing claims, a measure of the total number of people receiving aid from state unemployment programs dropped to 1.3 million for the week ended April 30, the lowest level since 1970.
The tight labor market has pushed workers to look for better jobs. Nearly 4.5 million people quit their jobs in March.