The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting a healthy labor market conditions that allow the Federal Reserve to have one more rate hike this year.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits decreased 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 237,000 in the week ended June. 10, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was unrevised.
Economists polled by Reuters had estimated initial claims falling to 242,000 in the latest week.
The Jobless claims have been below 300,000 for 119 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, rose by 1,000 to 243,000 last week.
The labor market is close to full employment. The Fed increased the borrowing cost to a target range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent on Wednesday despite the weaker-than-expected inflation number. The fed now believed the inflation will below its target of 2 percent. The continued strength in the labor market supported Fed’s anticipation for another rate hikes this year.