The number of Americans applying for new unemployment benefits fell last week, remaining at a low level consistent with a healthy U.S. labor market.
The Wall Street Journal reported that initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., decreased by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 in the week ended Dec. 24, the Labor Department said today (Dec. 29).
The decline matched economists’ expectations and partly reversed a jump in the prior week; claims for the week ended Dec. 17 were left unrevised at 275,000.
“On the whole, we continue to expect further improvement in labor market conditions,” Barclays economist Michael Gapen said in a note to clients.
Jobless claims have now hovered below 300,000 for 95 consecutive weeks, the longest such streak since 1970—when the U.S. workforce and population were far smaller than they are today.
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