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US initial jobless claims drop to near 50-year low

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Thursday 18 Apr 2019

US initial jobless claims drop to near 50-year low

(Sharecast News) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, according to data from the Labor Department.
US initial jobless claims fell by 5,000 from the previous week's level to 192,000, versus expectations for a level of 205,000 and marking the lowest level for initial claims since 6 September 1969. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 to 197,000.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average came in at 201,250, down 6,000 from the previous week's level, which was revised up by 250. This is the lowest level for this average since 1 November 1969.

The four-week average is considered more reliable as it smooths out sharp fluctuations in the more volatile weekly figures, giving a more accurate picture of the health of the labour market.

Continuing claims - i.e. the number of people already collecting unemployment benefits - fell to 1.653 million from a revised 1.716m, versus expectations for a level of 1.720m. The previous week's level was revised up by 3,000.

The four-week moving average came in at 1.721m, down 22,750 from the previous week's average, which was revised up by 750.





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