You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Jobless claims dive even lower to 192,000, sit at nearly 50-year low

MarketWatch logo MarketWatch 4/18/2019 Jeffry Bartash

a group of people looking at a laptop: A booming jobs market in health care and most other industries has produced the lowest rate of layoffs in 50 years.© Getty Images A booming jobs market in health care and most other industries has produced the lowest rate of layoffs in 50 years.

The numbers: The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits in Mid-April fell for the fifth week in a row to a nearly 50-year low of 192,000, a remarkably small level of layoffs that gives the economy a sturdy foundation on which it can continue to grow despite recent hiccups.

Jobless claims slipped by 5,000 to 192,000 in the seven days ended April 13, the government said Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch forecast a 204,000 reading.

a close up of text on a white background

New claims have totaled less than 200,000 for the second week in a row, a feat last accomplished in the fall of 1969, when Richard Nixon was in his first year as president.

Reduced layoffs, steady hiring and the lowest unemployment rate in half a century have produced the strongest labor market in decades and fueled a nearly record long economic expansion.

What happened: Jobless claims have fallen steadily in the past five weeks after a brief spike in February tied to seasonal changes in employment.

The four-week average of new jobless claims dropped by 6,000 to 201,250 — also the lowest mark since the fall of 1969. The monthly average is viewed as more stable since it smoothens out the weekly gyrations.

The number of people already collecting unemployment benefits, known as continuing claims, declined by 63,000 to 1.65 million. That’s also near a multi-decade low.

Big picture: Diminished layoffs, steady hiring and the lowest unemployment rate in half a century have produced the strongest labor market in decades, fueling a long economic expansion that will turn 10 years old in June.

The U.S. is expected to break the record for longest expansion ever in early summer thanks to a booming jobs market.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 (SPX) were set to fall slightly in Thursday trades, but most of attention was directed toward the release of the Mueller report in Washington. Stocks are near record territory again.

The 10-year Treasury note yield (BX:TMUBMUSD10Y) a benchmark for pricing a swath of consumer and corporate debt, fell a few ticks to 2.55%.

AdChoices
AdChoices
AdChoices

More From MarketWatch

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon