US initial jobless claims fall more than expected

Initial jobless claims fell 16,000 last week to 254,000, according to the Labour Department.

That’s the second lowest level since 1973.

Economists had forecast that the number of first timers filing for unemployment insurance rose to 269,000, according to Bloomberg. The previous week’s print was revised up by 2,000 to 270,000.

This data captures the first week of the annual period when automakers shut down their plants for retooling, and that could distort the numbers.

“Once the dust has settled after the retooling shutdowns, we fully expect claims to return to their underlying trend, in the low 270s,” wrote Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson in a note ahead of the release.

Weekly initial claims have not risen above 300,000 for 70 straight weeks, the longest stretch in 43 years.

More to come …

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