The number of out-of-work people collecting unemployment checks fell to a 17-year low in April, showcasing the strength of the U.S. labor market in recent years, MarketWatch reported. Continuing jobless claims fell by 49,000 to 1.98 million. That's only the second time they've fallen below the 2 million mark during the eight-year economic expansion.
For context, the last time unemployment agencies sent out fewer checks to unemployed Americans was in April 2000.
And it's just not jobless claims that are on the decline. The number of new applicants registering for unemployment benefits has sunk to less than 300,000 for 111 straight weeks--the longest streak since the early 1970s.
Chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities affirmed the "steady downtrend in place in the pace of layoffs."
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