[Ed. – Making America greater.]
New applications for U.S. jobless benefits increased less than expected last week and the number of Americans receiving unemployment aid fell to its lowest level since 1973, pointing to tightening labor market conditions.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 211,000 for the week ended April 28, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims dropped to 209,000 in the prior week, which was the lowest level since December 1969.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 225,000 in the latest week. The labor market is considered to be near or at full employment. The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, close to the Federal Reserve’s forecast of 3.8 percent by the end of this year.
The U.S. central bank on Wednesday left interest rates unchanged. The Fed said policymakers expected “economic activity will expand at a moderate pace in the medium term and labor market conditions will remain strong.”