June 19th, 2024

Fewer Americans file for jobless claims as labor market continues to shrug off higher interest rates

By Matt Ott, The Associated Press on April 11, 2024.

A hiring sign beckons potential employees to apply for work inside a discount store Wednesday, April 3, 2024, in Centennial, Colo. On Thursday, April 11, 2024, the Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer Americans applied for jobless benefits last week as the labor market continues to thrive despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool it.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that filings for unemployment claims for the week ending April 6 fell by 11,000 to 211,000 from the previous week’s 222,000.

The four-week average of claims, which smooths out some of the week-to-week swings, fell by 250 to 214,250.

In total, 1.82 million Americans were collecting jobless benefits during the week that ended March 30, an increase of 28,000 from the previous week and the most since January.

Weekly unemployment claims are considered a proxy for the number of U.S. layoffs in a given week and a sign of where the job market is headed. They have remained at historically low levels since the pandemic purge of millions of jobs in the spring of 2020.

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