Initial jobless claims in the US have dropped for the fifth straight week to reach 213,000 amid continued labour market tightness, the Labour Department reported.
In the week ending September 10, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased by 5,000 from the previous week’s downwardly revised level of 218,000, according to a report released on Thursday by the Department’s Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS).
The four-week moving average for initial jobless claims, a method to iron out data volatility, also decreased by 8,000 to 224,000, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.
The latest report also showed that the number of people continuing to collect regular state unemployment benefits, which was reported with a one-week lag, increased by 2,000 to 1.4 million during the week ending September 3.
The latest weekly figure of 213,000 was below the 2019 weekly average of 218,000, which was the pre-pandemic level.
In the week ending March 21, 2020, initial jobless claims skyrocketed to 2.9 million.
Jobless claims totalled 166,000 in the week ending March 19 this year, the lowest in decades. In recent months, the figures have been trending up amid surging inflation and rising interest rates.
The latest figure, however, showed that applications for unemployment insurance fell for a fifth week, signaling still robust demand for labour even as economic growth slows.
The number of job openings in the US rose to 11.2 million by the end of July, as the imbalances between labour market supply and demand remained, the Department had reported earlier.
With the increase in job openings, there were nearly two job positions per available worker.