A key measure of the jobs market just fell to its lowest level since 1973

Initial jobless claims fell last week to their lowest level since 1973.

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time totaled 222,000, the lowest since March 31, 1973, according to the Department of Labour.

First-time jobless claims are a leading indicator of the labour market’s strength, since people file for benefits not long after they lose their jobs.

Claims recently spiked to nearly 300,000 following the hurricanes that slammed into the Southeastern US. The report noted that hurricane-related disruptions continue to affect data collection in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.