Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, which is another sign of a healthy labor market. The Ministry of Labor reported that applications for unemployment benefits fell by 2,000 to 241,000 after the increase by as much as 20,000 the previous week. Two weeks ago, the number of applications fell to 44-year low of 223,000.
The average four-week number of the indicator, which is not so variable, rose by 750 to 237,250.
The applications for unemployment benefits, which are an indicator for the cuts, remain under 300,000 for 106 consecutive weeks, which is the longest period of 1970. Low level indicates that employers have enough confidence in the economy, not found it necessary to lay off personnel.
A total of 2.03 million Americans received unemployment, which is 8.2% less than last year.
The labor market is near full employment. That, together with firming inflation, gave the Federal Reserve confidence on Wednesday to raise its overnight benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to a range of 0.75 percent to 1.00 percent. The U.S. central bank forecast two more rate hikes this year.
A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing last week’s claims data and no states had been estimated.