US unemployment benefits drop 19,000 to 238,000

Boston Herald | By Associated Press
May 4, 2017

WASHINGTON — Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week after two weeks of small gains.

THE NUMBERS: The Labor Department says weekly jobless claims dropped by 19,000 to 238,000, the lowest level in three weeks. The less volatile four-week average edged up by 750 to 243,000. Overall, 1.96 million Americans are collecting unemployment benefits, down 8.1 percent from a year ago.

THE TAKEAWAY: Jobless claims are a proxy for layoffs. They have come in below 300,000 for 113 straight weeks, the longest stretch since 1970. The new report adds to evidence that the job market remains healthy.

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