US Unemployment Claims Hit 50-Year-Low

“We see the initial claims data as consistent with healthy labor market conditions.”

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell to its lowest level in 50 years, according to U.S. Department of Labor data released Thursday.

Weekly jobless applications fell 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 202,000, the lowest since the week of December 6, 1969.

New applications for unemployment are a way to judge how many employees are being laid off, with the data suggesting US employers are hanging onto workers despite fears of a slowing economy.

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Economists predicted a rebound in March after slow jobs growth in February.

“We see the initial claims data as consistent with healthy labor market conditions and in line with the widely anticipated rebound in the pace of payroll employment in March,” said Jonathan Millar, an economist at Barclays in New York.

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According to a survey of economists, non-farm payrolls are expected to increase by 180,000 jobs following only a 20,000 increase in February. The unemployment rate, currently at 3.8%, is expected to remain unchanged.

The full March jobs report is set to be released Friday.

Due to sluggish overseas economies, many analysts expect U.S. growth to slow in 2019 after topping 4% last year. Despite those fears, the job market has seen sustained strength.

Economists still predict job growth to slow in 2019 as well, thanks to the unemployment rate hovering around full employment and the labor force participation rate continuing to improve.

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