WASHINGTON – Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a sign that U.S. workers still have job security despite recent tremors in the global economy.
The Labor Department says weekly applications fell 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 254,000. The 4-week average, which is less volatile, dipped slightly to 264,750.
Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. The 70-week streak of claims staying below 300,000 is the longest since 1973. It's evidence that employers view their business prospects as being strong enough to keep workers on the job, even as Britain's vote to depart the European Union has further compounded the volatility seen in the financial markets this year.
Hiring has slowed down this spring. But economists expect the Friday employment report will show a pick-up in June, with employers adding 180,000 jobs.