The US four-week moving average of initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to 209,500 last week, down 2,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average, the US Department of Labor reported. This is the lowest level for this average since Dec. 6, 1969, when it was 204,500.
The four-week moving average smooths the volatility of the week-to-week numbers. Total initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended Sept. 1 fell to 203,000, down 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level; this is also lowest level since Dec. 6, 1969, when it was 202,000.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 214,000 in the latest week. Though there have been reports of some companies either planning job cuts or laying off workers because of uncertainty caused by the Trump administration’s trade policy, that has not been reflected in the claims data, Reuters reported. Economists say given labor market tightness, employers were reluctant to lay off workers. The labor market is viewed as being near or at full employment.