- Mark Blinch/Reuters
Initial jobless claims rose less than expected.
Claims, which count the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time in the past week, ticked up to 239,000.
This marks the 102nd consecutive week that the reading came in below 300,000.
Moreover, the analysts at Bespoke Invesment Group pointed out over Twitter that claims have been below 240,000 for five out of the last seven weeks. And this is significant given that claims have not gone below 240,000 once from December 1973 to December 2016.
Economists had forecast that claims rose to 245,000, up from the prior week’s reading of 234,000.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average came in at 245,250, an increase of 500 from the previous week’s revised average.
Initial jobless claims are used as a real-time proxy for the pace of layoffs and the overall health of the labor market, since people usually file for benefits soon after they lose their jobs.