Filings for unemployment benefits fell last week, indicating that demand for employees remains strong even as the economy slows.
The Labor Department said Thursday that the first jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, totaled 230,000 in the week ending April 22, a 16,000 reduction from the previous week.
New filings have largely increased in recent months, despite a spate of layoffs in technology, banking, and other areas.
The Walt Disney Company said this week that layoffs at ESPN and other businesses had begun, as part of a previously announced plan to reduce 7,000 positions.
However, by historical standards, jobless applications remain low: weekly claims are close to the 2019 average of around 220,000, despite a similarly tight labor market.
The four-week average of weekly claims, which smooths out weekly volatility, declined by 4,000 from the previous week's revised average to 236,000.
More than a year after the Federal Reserve began aggressively raising interest rates to combat inflation, the labor market remains solid. However, employment gains have slowed since the peak of the pandemic rebound in 2021 and 2022. As waves of layoffs roil corporate America, more workers have registered for unemployment benefits this year.
Continuing claims, which represent the number of persons seeking continued unemployment benefits, decreased to 1.86 million in the week ended April 15, a 3,000 decrease from the revised amount the previous week.
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