Jobless claims fell last week as the number of Americans on unemployment rolls point to a tightening labor market that may encourage the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in June. State unemployment benefits fell 2,000 to 236,000 for the week ended May 6th, the Labor Department announced on Thursday.
Economists at Reuters anticipated jobless claims rising to 245,000. Jobless benefits have been below 300,000 for 114 weeks straight. This is the longest record since 1970 with the unemployment rate near a 10-year low of 4.4 percent.
Thursday’s jobless claims report reported a drop of people receiving benefits after the initial week of aid fell 61,000 to 1.92 million in the week ended April 29th, which was the lowest level since November 1988.
Job growth in April coupled with labor market strength has left investors anticipating a rate hike by the Fed in June.