Jobless claims lowest since ’73

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since 1973 last week, evidence that businesses are confident enough in the economy to hold onto their workers.

Weekly applications for jobless benefits fell 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 235,000, the Labor Department said today. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped to 253,500.

The number of people receiving benefits fell 66,000 to 1.98 million, the fewest in more than 16 years.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs, and have remained below 300,000 for 89 straight weeks. That’s the longest streak since 1970. All those figures indicate that job cuts are very low.

By Chad Fleck

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