Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign of steady progress in the labor market.
Jobless claims fell by 2,000 to a one-month low of 312,000 in the week ended June 21, the Labor Department reported. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 310,000 initial claims.
Dismissals are hovering just above their pre-recession lows, and hiring has picked up as companies grow confident the economy will snap back from the worst contraction in five years. Employment that’s on pace for its best year since 1999 will need to spark faster wage growth for consumer spending to accelerate.
“The labor market should be able to sustain a decent amount of growth,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at Maria Fiorina Ramirez Inc. “The economy is all right for the balance of this year.”