Economic Report: Jobless claims fall again and stay below 200,000 for seventh week in a row

by | Mar 2, 2023 | Stock Market

The numbers: The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits at the end of February fell slightly and stayed below 200,000 for the seventh week in a row in a sign of the labor market’s remarkable strength. New applications slipped to 190,000 from a revised 192,000 in the prior week, the government said Thursday.

The number of people applying for jobless benefits is one of the best barometers of whether the economy is getting better or worse. New unemployment applications remain near historically low levels. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast that new claims would total 197,000 in the seven days ending Feb. 25. The figures are seasonally adjusted. Key details: Thirty-four of the 53 U.S. states and territories that report jobless claims showed a decrease last week. Nineteen posted an increase. New claims have ranged from a high of 241,000 to a low of 183,000 since Thanksgiving. By most measures, the labor market is still quite robust. The number of people already collecting unemployment benefits, meanwhile, fell by 5,000 to 1.66 million in the week ending Feb. 18. They are reported with a one-week lag. These so-called continuing claims are still low, but a gradual increase since last spring suggests it’s taking a bit longer for people who lose the …

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