Initial jobless claims have been below 300,000 for 100 weeks

Initial jobless claims, which count the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time in the past week, fell to 246,000, the 100th straight week in which the reading came in below 300,000.

Economists had forecast that claims ticked down to 250,000, down from the prior week’s reading of 259,000.

The four-week moving average came in at 248,000, an increase of 2,250 from the prior 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 labour market, since people usually file for benefits soon after they lose their jobs.

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