There were 324,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 18,000 from the previous week’s 342,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports.
Claims continues to run around the lowest pace since early 2008 — they haven’t been lower since a week in mid-January 2008 when they came in at 321,000.
Bloomberg News writes that the drop indicates “companies are retaining staff even as the economy cools.”
We’ll learn much more about the labor market Friday, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics is due to release data on the April unemployment rate and job growth. Bloomberg says that economists expect to hear that a modest 145,000 jobs were added to payrolls and that the jobless rate held steady at 7.6 percent.