More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but claims remained at a low level consistent with a healthy job market.
THE NUMBERS: The Labor Department said Thursday that 244,000 Americans applied for jobless aid last week, up by 6,000 from the previous week. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell by 4,000 to 241,000, lowest since July 1973.
Overall, 2.06 million people are collecting unemployment checks, down 7.7 percent from a year ago.
THE TAKEAWAY: Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. They have come in below 300,000 a week for 103 straight weeks, the longest such streak since 1970. The low levels of claims suggest that...