Applications for jobless aid fall to lowest in 50 years

Applications are a proxy for layoffs signals that businesses are confident enough about future demand to hold onto their workers.

11 April 2019 | 20:39

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 11 April 2019 | 20:39

This Dec. 24, 2018, file photo shows U.S. Capitol dome in Washington. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON: The number of people applying for unemployment aid fell last week to its lowest level in nearly five decades, solid evidence that the job market is healthy and layoffs scarce.

The Labor Department says weekly applications for jobless benefits dropped 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 196,000. That is the lowest since October 1969. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 207,000, the lowest since December 1969.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the ongoing decline — applications have tumbled for four straight weeks — signals that businesses are confident enough about future demand to hold onto their workers. That confidence is also spurring more hiring: Job gains rebounded last month after a sharp slowdown in February, suggesting the economy remains resilient in its 10th year of expansion.

Show Comments

An-Nahar is not responsible for the comments that users post below. We kindly ask you to keep this space a clean and respectful forum for discussion.