jwashburn

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to its lowest since April, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The low numbers are a sign that employers are reluctant to let workers go in a tight market with few workers. New jobless claims decreased by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 209,000 over the 4th of July weekend.

No states estimated their claims and a Labor Department analyst said there was nothing unusual with the latest numbers. Numbers may be slightly skewed because the holiday gives laid-off workers one less day to file and some factories temporarily lay off workers in early July for summer maintenance.

Overall layoffs are extremely low in a historical context, especially given that today’s population covered by unemployment insurance is much larger than in the last 60 years. The low numbers of new jobless are just barely higher than record lows set in the late 1960s.

The report is consistent with June’s job report in showing us a healthy labor market and booming economy.

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