Initial jobless claims fell to 255,000 last week, much lower than expected and the lowest since November 24, 1973.
Economists had forecast that initial filings for unemployment insurance dipped to 278,000 from 281,000 in the prior period, according to Bloomberg.
The four-week moving average of claims fell 4,000 to 278,500.
The period being reported is also the week during which the survey for the monthly jobs report was conducted.
The Labour Department noted no special factors in this week’s report.
In a note to clients after the release, Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson noted that the trend in claims is still relatively stable, despite today’s plunge, and forecast that claims may rise again soon.
“What’s clear from the trend, though, is that employers are holding tightly onto their staff; this is the flipside of the difficulty they report in finding qualified people,” he wrote. “In short, yet more evidence that the labour market is tightening.”
Shepherdson also provided this chart showing the trend in claims, as well as the weekly prints going back to January 2013.