Jobless claims continue to hold near record lows and continue to point to solid strength in the labor market. Initial claims edged 1,000 higher in the May 20 week to 234,000 with the 4-week average showing special improvement, down a sharp 5,750 to 235,250. In a sign of how strongly favorable the trend is, this average has been not risen since March.
Continuing claims are likewise favorable, at 1.923 million which is up 24,000 in lagging data for the May 13 week but with this 4-week average also down, 16,000 lower to 1.930 million. The unemployment rate for insured workers is very low, at 1.4 percent.
Superlatives in this week's report are the 4-week average for initial claims, the lowest since 1973, and the 4-week average for continuing claims, the lowest since 1974. Demand for labor is strong with today's data pointing to a second straight positive showing for the monthly employment report.