June 22nd, 2024

Six weeks of falling applications for unemployment benefits

By Matt Ott, The Associated Press on February 23, 2023.

FILE - Hiring signs are displayed at a grocery store in Arlington Heights, Ill., Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. On Tuesday, the Labor Department reports on wages and benefits for U.S. workers during the October-December quarter. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

The number of Americans filing for jobless aid fell again last week as the labor market remains resilient in the face of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases meant to cool the economy.

Applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. for the week ending Feb. 18 fell by 3,000 last week to 192,000, from 195,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. It’s the sixth straight week claims were under 200,000.

The four-week moving average of claims, which evens out some of the weekly volatility, inched up by 1,500 to 191,250. It’s the fifth straight week that the four-week moving average has been below 200,000.

Applications for unemployment benefits are considered a proxy for the number layoffs in the U.S.

About 1.65 million people were receiving jobless aid the week that ended Feb. 11, a decrease of 37,000 from the week before.

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