Applications for US jobless aid fell to 3-month low of 232K

Economists polled by MarketWatch has expected new claims to total a seasonally adjusted 240,000 in the seven days stretching from May 7 to May 13.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure of labor market trends, fell by 2,750 to 240,750 last week.

The Jobless claims have been below 300,000 for 115 straight weeks, the longest streak since 1970. That pushed claims close to levels last seen in 1973.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, slid to their lowest level since November of 1988.

The decline in continuing claims is also important evidence that the labour market is continuing to strengthen as discouraged workers are able to re-enter the labour market. Employers added 211,000 jobs in April as the unemployment rate fell to a 10-year low of 4.4 percent.

The U.S. economy has been creating new jobs at a rapid clip for the past six years, knocking the unemployment rate below 5% and helping millions of Americans to recover from the worst recession in decades. Claims fell 11,000 between the April and May survey periods suggesting further employment gains this month. 13, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The U.S. central bank increased its benchmark overnight interest rate by 25 basis points in March and has forecast two more increases this year. The economy grew at an anemic 0.7 percent annualized rate in the first quarter.

  • Zachary Reyes