Jobless Filings at Three-Week Low Amid Strong Labor Market

Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg News

The U.S. job market continues to show signs of strength, as the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to a three-week low, according to Labor Department data released June 15.

Highlights of Jobless Claims

• Initial jobless claims fell by 8,000 to 237,000 (forecast was 241,000); close to 43-year-low of 227,000.

• Continuing claims rose by 6,000 to 1.935 million in week ended June 3 (data reported with one-week lag).

• Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, rose to 243,000 from 242,000 in the prior week.

Key Takeaways

Labor demand in the U.S. economy remains high, and with unemployment at a 16-year low, employers are choosing to retain the staff they have on hand. The data continue to signal a tightening labor market, in which managers complain of an ever-shrinking pool of candidates that don’t match the skills or experience some are looking for.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said June 14 that employment was near its maximum sustainable level as the central bank raised interest rates for the third time in six months.

Other Details

• Previous week’s initial claims unrevised at 245,000.

• Hawaii and Louisiana had estimated claims last week.

• Unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits unchanged at 1.4%.