U.S. Jobless Claims Increase by 10,000 to 244,000

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, suggesting a healthy labor market conditions.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 244,000 in the week ended April. 15, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were unrevised.

Economists polled by Reuters had estimated initial claims to rise to 242,000 in the latest week.

The Jobless claims have been below 300,000 for 111 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 4,250 to 243,000 last week.

The labor market is close to full employment. Unemployment rate is at a near 10-year low of 4.5 percent. 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.

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