The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits was little changed last week, pointing to a healthy labor market conditions.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits decreased by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 in the week ended April. 8, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were unrevised up to 235,000 from a previously reported 234,000.
Economists polled by Reuters had estimated initial claims to rise to 245,000 in the latest week.
"Claims remain low, adding to the evidence that the slowing in payrolls in March was due to weather effects," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York.
The Jobless claims have been below 300,000 for 110 straight weeks, the longest streak since 1970. At that time, the data base was much smaller than today.
The four-week moving average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure of labor market trends, fell by 3,000 to 247,250 last week.
The labor market is close to full employment. The continued strength in the labor market supported Fed’s decision to raise interest rate on Match 14 meeting. Investors has anticipated two more rate hikes this year.