Job seekers wait to interview with company representatives at the Hire Live Job Fair in El Segundo, California, U.S. (Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell Last Week Amid Holiday Volatility

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. filings for unemployment benefits eased last week following a spike reflecting volatility around spring holidays, Labor Department data showed Thursday.

Highlights of Jobless Claims (Week Ended April 7)

  • Jobless claims decreased by 9k to 233k (est. 230k)
  • Continuing claims rose by 53k to 1.871m in week ended March 31 (data reported with one-week lag)
  • Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, rose to 230,000 from the prior week’s 228,250

Key Takeaways

Claims are still near the 45-year low of 217,000 in February, indicating employers’ reluctance to fire staff. The prior week’s increase of 24,000, the biggest since September, may have reflected the impact of the Easter holiday and school breaks, periods when seasonal adjustments tend to be more difficult. Also, applications for jobless benefits below 300,000 are considered consistent with a healthy labor market.

While hiring slowed in March, according to the Labor Department’s jobs report last week, most data indicate the market remains in generally good shape, with an unemployment rate at the lowest since 2000.

Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell Last Week Amid Holiday Volatility

Other Details

  • Unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.3 percent for a sixth week
  • Colorado, Maine had estimated claims last week, according to the Labor Department

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