WASHINGTON – US claims for unemployment fell slightly in the third week of October, in keeping with a steady trend of low levels, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday.
Seasonally adjusted claims for jobless benefits stood at 258,000 for the week ending October 22, down 3,000 from the prior week and close to analyst expectations.
A volatile economic indicator, unemployment insurance claims are used to measure the prevalence of layoffs and the health of labor markets.
The week’s result marked 86 consecutive weeks of claims below 300,000, a streak not seen since 1970, according to the Labor Department.
The four-week moving average was 253,000, up 1,000 from the prior week.
The US economy has steadily created jobs in recent months despite low productivity, prompting some US policymakers to call for raising interest rates.
Most observers expect the Federal Reserve to do so at its final meeting of 2016 in December.