Initial jobless claims in the US are at their lowest level since March 1973

Unemployed jobless ohioSpencer Platt/Getty ImagesDora Reynolds, who is currently unemployed, sits along a road downtown on October 24, 2016 in East Liverpool, Ohio

Initial jobless claims just fell to their lowest level since 1973.

Claims, which count the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time in the past week, dropped by more than expected to 223,000.

This is the lowest level for claims since March 31, 1973, when they came in at 222,000.

Economists had expected them to dip slightly to 243,000, from the prior reading of 244,000.

Moreover, the four-week moving average came in at 234,250, a dip of 6,250 from the prior week. The four-week moving average hasn’t been this low since April 14, 1973.

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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