Jobless Claims Stateside Hold Steady Near Historic Lows

The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits in early June was virtually unchanged, leaving new jobless claims near a post-recession low and suggesting little deterioration in the strongest labour market in decades.

The U.S. Labor Department said initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, was flat at 218,000. The prior week’s tally was revised up to 218,000 from 215,000, however.

Economists estimated new claims would total a seasonally adjusted 215,000 in the seven days ended June 1.

The more stable monthly average of new claims fell by 2,500 to 215,000 and touched the lowest level since late April. The four-week average gives a more accurate read into labour-market conditions than the more volatile weekly number.

Continuing claims in the U.S. rose by 20,000 to 1.68 million, but still sit near a 46-year bottom.