Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, reflecting a low rate of layoffs across the economy.
Jobless claims fell 18,000 to 215,000 in the week ended February 26, from 233,000 the previous week, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.
The four-week average of claims, which offsets weekly volatility, fell 6,000 to 230,500.
A total of 1,476,000 Americans received unemployment benefits for the week ended February 12, a small increase of 2,000 from the revised figure for the previous week, which was the lowest level since March 14, 1970.
Initial jobless claims are generally following the pace of layoffs, which have fallen back to fairly healthy pre-pandemic levels.
The Department of Labor will release its February jobs report on Friday. Analysts polled by financial data firm FactSet forecast the US economy added 400,000 jobs last month.
In January, the US economy added a whopping 467k jobs and revised up December and November gains by a combined 709k. The unemployment rate is 4%, a historically low level.
The US economy has made a strong recovery from the 2020 recession caused by the coronavirus. Massive government spending and the rollout of vaccines have boosted the economy as employers added a record 6.4 million jobs last year. The US economy grew 5.7% in 2021 and last year grew at the fastest annual pace since a 7.2% surge in 1984, which also followed a recession.
Inflation is also at a 40-year high – 7.5% yoy – prompting the Federal Reserve to ease monetary support for the economy. The Fed has announced that it will begin a series of rate hikes this month to stem rising prices.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/03/jobless-claims-fall-to-215k-as-layoffs-stay-at-pre-pandemic-levels/ Jobless claims fall to 215,000 as layoffs remain at pre-pandemic levels