Initial jobless claims plunged to 262,000 last week.

This is the lowest level for initial claims since April 15, 2000.

Analysts were expecting claims to fall to 290,000, slightly down from 295,00o the prior week.

The four-week average of initial claims was 283,750, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week’s revised average.

The four-week moving average was 2,290,750, a decrease of 18,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since December 23, 2000.

“The trend in claims, below the pre-recession trough, continues to impress and runs counter to the disappointment we saw in the March payrolls report, suggesting that report’s weakness may have been a blip in an otherwise solid trend,” according to Derek Lindsey of BNP Paribas.

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