Washington, Rabi’II 7, 1438, Jan 5, 2017, SPA — The number of people filing initial applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits fell significantly last week, close to historic lows, the government reported Thursday, signaling a strong job market.
The Labor Department aid jobless claims fell 28,000 to 235,000, near the 233,000 claims filed in late November, which was the lowest weekly total since 1973, when the U.S. labor market was much smaller.
The four-week moving average of jobless claims—a less volatile measure considered to be a better gauge of labor-market trends—fell 5,750 to 256,750. Weekly jobless claims have remained below the 300,000 level for 96 consecutive weeks, the longest streak since 1970.
Over the past 12 months, the total number of people receiving unemployment benefits fell 5 percent to 2.1 million, the report said.
The historically low level of jobless claims suggests employers are retaining workers and likely seeking to add new positions. Employers see the economy as continuing its seven-year expansion into 2017.
18:38 LOCAL TIME 15:38 GMT