The labor market continues to defy Federal Reserve attempts at loosening it, with U.S. applications for unemployment benefits down again last week and remaining at historically low levels.
Jobless claims in the U.S. for the week ending March 18 fell by 1,000 to 191,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday.
The four-week moving average of claims, which flattens out some of week-to-week volatility, fell by 250 to 196,250, remaining below the 200,000 threshold for the ninth straight week.
Applications for unemployment benefits are seen as a barometer for layoffs in the U.S.
About 1.69 million people were receiving jobless aid the week that ended March 11, an increase of 14,000 from the week before. That number is close to pre-pandemic levels.