First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell to a 48-year low last week as the labor market shows further signs of tightening after years of steady growth.
Claims plummeted to 209,000, a decrease of 24,000 in the week through April 21, from the previous week’s 232,000, the lowest level since Dec. 6, 1969, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.
The four-week moving average, a better gauge of the labor market’s health, fell by 2,250 claims to 229,250.
New York accounted for the bulk of the drop, with the number of claims in the state dropping 18,402.
A tighter labor market is starting to boost wages as employers try to hold on to their employees as the pool of skilled workers shrinks.
Jobless claims remained below 300,000 for a record 164th straight week.