Initial jobless claims were unchanged at 246,000 last week, according to the Department of Labor.
Economists had forecast that the number of first-time filings for unemployment insurance rose by 4,000 to 253,000 last week, according to Bloomberg. A downward revision to the prior week’s data left the new print constant.
The four-week moving average of claims, which evens out some of the week-by-week volatility, fell by 9,000 to 244,000, the lowest level since November 3, 1973. It fell below 250,000 for the first time since that year.
The weekly print has not crossed the 300,000 mark for 84 straight weeks, the longest streak since 1970.
Initial jobless claims are a good early indicator of when the labor market is starting to sour because when they rise rise, they reflect an increasing number of job losses.