U.S. Jobless Claims Remain Near Historic Low

Washington, New applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits held steady last week near more than a 48-year low, the government reported Thursday.

The Labor Department said jobless claims were unchanged last week at a 211,000. Claims dropped to 209,000 in mid-April, the lowest level since late 1969, when the labor market was far smaller.

The U.S. economy is considered to be near or at full employment, leading to a slowdown in job growth as employers struggle to find skilled workers. A department report Tuesday showed job openings rising to a record 6.6 million in March. Competition for workers is expected to lift wage growth, which has remained moderate in recent years.

Hiring slowed in April and March after jumping in February. The unemployment rate fell to a more than 17-year low of 3.9 percent in April from the 4.1 percent rate seen for the previous six months. The jobless rate is near the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) forecast of 3.8 percent by the end of this year.

Source: Saudi Press Agency