Jobless Claims Lower than Expected, Four Week Average Hits Lowest Level Since 1969

The number of Americans filing new applications for state unemployment benefits rose by less than expected last week, suggesting that the labor market is still very vigorous. New claims rose by just 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 213,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. After three consecutive weeks of declines, economists had forecast a rise to 214,000, according to Bloomberg. Jo0bless claims are an indication of layoffs and have been closely watched this year for signs that trade disputes might weigh on the U.S. labor market. So far, there are no signs that tariffs have cost the U.S. economy any jobs. The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out weekly volatility and is considered by many economists to be a more reliable gauge of conditions, fell by 1,500 to 212,250. That is the lowest level since December 1969, according to the Labor Department.

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