Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Levels in Last 15 Years


Your Thursday morning dose of good news.

First-time filings for unemployment insurance fell by 34,000 to 262,000 in the week ended April 25, the lowest since April 15, 2000, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. The figure was smaller than the lowest projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

With job openings at a 14-year high and prospects for stronger growth after the first-quarter setback, companies are intent on maintaining headcounts. The level of firings is consistent the Federal Reserve’s view of sustained progress in the job market.

“Claims have been quite steady, remaining below this key level of 300,000,” Thomas Costerg, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in New York, said before the report. “The U.S. labor market is in good shape and has been quite resilient.”

The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 290,000, with estimates ranging from 275,000 to 300,000. Claims in the prior week were revised to 296,000 from an initially reported 295,000.

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