US jobless claims fall even as economic growth slows

Jobless claims fall in US

The number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week.

Initial state unemployment claims benefits were down 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 267,000 for the week ended April 2.

Economists had predicted that jobless claims would fall to 270,000 last week.

Jobless claims have remained below 300,000 for 57 weeks, the longest stretch since 1973. That threshold is considered a healthy labor market.

Labor market numbers remain strong, despite various signs of slowing economic growth. Recent reports have shown a slow down in consumer spending, business investment, and international trade.

Growth slowed to below a 1% annualized rate in the first quarter after a 1.4% increase in Q4.

Data last week showed that 2.5 million people entered or re-entered the job market between September and March, the second largest increase in a six-month period.

Employers added 215,000 jobs in March, on top of the 245,000 positions created in February, the government reported last week.

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