Job Reports and Statistics

US claims for unemployment benefits slip by 2,000

Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a further indication of the health of the labor market.

THE NUMBERS: Applications for jobless benefits slipped by 2,000 to 241,000 after claims had risen by 20,000 in the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Two weeks ago claims had fallen to a 44-year low of 223,000. The four-week average, which is less volatile, rose by 750 last week to 237,250.

Overall, 2.03 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits, 8.2 percent lower than a year ago.

THE TAKEAWAY: Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. They have now come in below 300,000 for 106 weeks, the longest such streak since...

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