Jobless claims drop to lowest level since 1973
U.S jobless claims dropped to 215,000 last week, the lowest level since 1973, the Labor Department revealed Thursday.
In the week ending March 24, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped by 12,000 from 227,000 as adjusted for seasonal labor market changes.
Unemployment claims during the week ending March 17 were revised down 2,000, to 227,000.
The four-week average also fell by 500 claims to 224,500. Last week’s average was revised up by 1,250, from 223,750 to 225,000.
Jobless claims have held consistently low throughout that past several years, and have reached decades-old records under President Trump. The unemployment rate has lingered close to 4.1 percent, below the level the Federal Reserve considers ideal for a stable and growing economy.
The economy has generally performed well under Trump, who inherited years of consistent job gains but sluggish economic growth from former President Obama.
Analysts had expected growth to accelerate in 2018, thanks in part to a $1.3-trillion tax cut enacted by Trump. The U.S. economy grew at a healthy rate of 2.9 percent in the last quarter of 2017, according to Commerce Department data released Wednesday, higher than an earlier 2.5 percent estimate.
But Trump’s imposition of tariffs on steel, aluminum and other Chinese imports has rattled investors and economists concerned about trade retaliation hampering the global economy. U.S. stocks have swung wildly in 2018 after a year of consistent gains, partly due to Trump’s trade policy.
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