Unemployment Levels Near 5-Month Low

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to their lowest level in nearly five months last week to a seasonally adjusted 233,000. This level was lower than anticipated, as economists had predicted claims falling to 245,000.

Last month 222,000 jobs were created, swelling payrolls to their second biggest tally this year.

The week ending July 15 marks the lowest level of unemployment claims reported since February, when claims reached 227,000, which was the best reading since March 1973, AP reports.

This is the 124th week that claims have remained under 300,000, a number associated with robust labor conditions. This is the longest recorded stretch since 1970. The labor market is near full employment, with the jobless rate at 4.4 percent.

The four-week average of claims filed during June and July fell 1,250, suggesting strong job gains.

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