U.S. jobless claims inch up while benefit rolls lowest since '73

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(Bloomberg) – U.S. filings for unemployment insurance crept higher while the number of Americans on benefit rolls fell to the lowest level since 1973 in another indication of a tight job market, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.

Highlights of Jobless Claims (Week Ended March 17)

Jobless claims increased by 3k to 229k (est. 225k) Continuing claims fell by 57k to 1.828m in week ended March 10 (data reported with one-week lag); lowest level since Dec. 1973 Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, rose to 223,750 from the prior week’s 221,500

Key Takeaways

The U.S. labor picture remains solid, with filings for benefits holding well below the 300,000 level each week that analysts consider healthy. Federal Reserve policy makers on Wednesday projected lower unemployment rates in the coming years than in their previous round of forecasts in December, and new Chairman Jerome Powell said the job market “remains strong.”

Other Details

Prior week’s initial claims reading unrevised at 226,000 Unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits unchanged at 1.3 percent Colorado and Maine had estimated claims last week, according to the Labor Department

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