US unemployment claims below 300,000 for a record low 119 weeks

WASHINGTON (AP)—The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell for a second straight week, further evidence of the strength of the labor market.

The Numbers: The Labor Department said Thursday that claims for jobless benefits last week dropped by 8,000, to a seasonally adjusted 237,000. The less-volatile four-week average rose by 1,000 to 243,000.

The Takeaway: Applications for unemployment benefits are a proxy for layoffs. They’ve come in below 300,000, a historically low figure, for 119 straight weeks, the longest such stretch since 1970. Overall, 1.94 million people were collecting unemployment checks, down 10.2 percent from a year ago.

Key Drivers: Various indicators show the job market is healthy even though hiring has slowed lately, partly because employers are having trouble finding workers. The jobless rate fell in May to a 16-year low of 4.3 percent.

The economy has generated 162,000 jobs a month so far this year—up from an average of 157,000 a month from January through May last year but down from an average of 187,000 a month for all of 2016.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve, noting the strong job market, voted to boost a key interest rate for the third time in six months, pushing its federal funds rate up by a quarter-point to a new range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent. The Fed signaled that it intended to raise rates one more time this year.

 
 
 
RECOMMENDED ARTICLE

The special bond between siblings

The special bond between siblings
READ MORE >
 
 

Forest fires in Spain force mass evacuations

Forest fires in Spain force mass evacuations
Spanish police had to wake people up to tell them to leave their homes on the night of ...
READ MORE >
 

More violence in Venezuela at protest over shooting

More violence in Venezuela at protest over shooting
Demonstrators marched to Venezuelan military bases on June 24 to protest the shooting of a young demonstrator; the ...
READ MORE >
 

Rescuers search for bodies, survivors of Chinese landslide

Rescuers search for bodies, survivors of Chinese landslide
A massive landslide in Maoxian County in China’s Sichuan  Province has buried an unknown number of people. Rescuers ...
READ MORE >
 

Runners compete in the Gobi March desert crossing

Runners compete in the Gobi March desert crossing
Up for a challenge? How about a seven-day race across a desert? The Gobi March is part of ...
READ MORE >
 

Kindhearted lady finally rescued a cat suffering from a contagious disease, when others just ignored it!

Kindhearted lady finally rescued a cat suffering from a contagious disease, when others just ignored it!
This kitty's eyes were shut from being caked and swollen, as he suffered from a highly contagious disease and ...
READ MORE >