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First Cut: Initial jobless claims in April 13 week remain below the 200,000-mark for a second week

Initial jobless claims remained below the 200,000-mark for a second week in a row, falling 5,000 to 192,000 after a revised 197,000 (previously 196,000) in the prior week. The level reached a low not seen since 182,000 in the September 6, 1969 week. The comparison isn’t completely accurate since changes in law mean fewer workers are eligible for benefits. However, this does not mean these are not consistent with a very tight labor market where businesses are holding on to the workers they have to meet demand.

No states estimated claims and the Labor Department cited no special factors. The seasonal adjustment factors anticipated a small rise in unadjusted claims in the April 13 week, but will look for lower claims in the coming two months.

Continuing claims were down 63,000 to 1.653 million in the April 6 week, the lowest since 1.654 million in the November 24, 2018 week. The insured rate of unemployment was 1.2% for a 49th week in a row. Unrounded, the rate was 1.151%, a record low. Labor market resource slack is minimal.

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