The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims fell to its lowest level last week in 19 months, indicating a balanced labor market, although labor shortages could keep the pace of employment moderate in October.
The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday that total first-time government jobless claims fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 290,000 for the week ending Oct. 16.
This is the lowest level since mid-March 2020, when the country was in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is the second consecutive week that orders remain below the 300,000 mark as employers hold theirs. employees in face severe labor shortages.
Economists interviewed by Reuters had expected 300,000 orders in the past week.
Requests have dropped from a peak record of 6.149 million at the beginning of April 2020. A range of 250,000-300,000 applications corresponds to a strong job market.
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