A Job News USA employee, right, speaks to job seekers before the start of a career fair (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

Jobless Claims in U.S. Decline to Lowest Level Since 1969

(Bloomberg) -- Unemployment lines across the U.S. last week were the shortest since December 1969, according to a Labor Department report Thursday that showed an unexpected drop in filings for jobless benefits.

Highlights of Jobless Claims (Week ended July 14)

  • Jobless claims decreased by 8k to 207k (est. 220k)
  • Continuing claims rose by 8k to 1.75m in week ended July 7 (data reported with one-week lag)
  • Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, dropped to 220,500 from 223,250 

Key Takeaways

The latest tally for jobless-benefit applications coincides with the same week the Labor Department conducts surveys for the monthly jobs report. The drop last week is an encouraging sign that the July employment data will remain robust.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance has been running well below 300,000, a level consistent with a healthy labor market. The claims figures are in sync with other reports showing employers are competing for a limited pool of qualified workers.

The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, released Wednesday, showed momentum is building in the nation’s job market. “All districts reported that labor markets were tight and many said that the inability to find workers constrained growth,” it said.

Jobless Claims in U.S. Decline to Lowest Level Since 1969