U.S. jobless claims at four-week low amid tight labor market

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(Bloomberg) – U.S. filings for unemployment benefits ticked down to a four-week low, the latest sign that the job market remains robust, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.

Highlights of jobless claims (week ended June 2)

Jobless claims decreased by 1k to 222k (est. 220k) Continuing claims rose by 21k to 1.74m in week ended May 26 (data reported with one-week lag) Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, rose to 225,500 from the prior week’s 222,750

Key takeaways

The weekly claims figures have been gradually declining over the past year and remain near the lowest level since 1969. Employers are facing shortages of workers, prompting them to retain people for longer, pay more and offer various non-wage benefits.

Data earlier this week showed job openings exceeded the number of unemployed U.S. workers for the first time in at least 17 years. Unemployment-benefits applications below 300,000 are generally considered consistent with a healthy labor market.

Other details

Prior week’s reading was revised to 223,000 from 221,000 Unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits unchanged at 1.2% Maine was only state with estimated claims last week, according to the Labor Department.

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